Stumped for dinner ideas tonight? Have a couple extra onions laying around? You can really just throw these babies in the oven and when they are done, enjoy! Red quinoa is a nutty, flavorful boost of fiber and can be substituted for rice and other grains in many recipes. This gluten-free recipe is quick easy and tasty. We like to use all organic ingredients in our recipes, which can all be picked up at Nature’s Corner.
*6 medium onions
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1 fat clove garlic, peeled and minced
*1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
*1 cup quinoa (I used red quinoa), rinsed thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer
*1 1/2 cups water
*2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
*1/4 cup raisins
*1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or more to taste), plus more for garnish
*1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
*pinch or two of cayenne pepper, or to taste
1. Put a large pot of water on to boil and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Slice off a very small portion of the bottom end of each onion so they will stand without rolling over, then cut a slice about 1/2 inch thick off the tops of each onion. Peel off the outer papery layer and one of the thicker inside layers of each onion. Compost or discard the onion trimmings.
3. When the water is boiling, carefully add the peeled onions. Cook for about 10 minutes, until softened. Allow to cool, then remove the center portion of each onion. I did this by scooping it out with a sharp tipped spoon from the top, but you could also make a slit lengthwise along the side of each onion to make it easier (though then you’ll have to push your onions back together so the filling doesn’t fall out).
4. Place the onion shells in a shallow baking dish (it’s fine if they’re all touching), then chop enough onion centers to equal 1 cup. Reserve the rest of the onion centers for another use.
5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (I use cast-iron) and add the onion and the garlic. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Add the red pepper and cook for another minute or two.
6. Add the rinsed quinoa. the water, and the tomato paste. Turn heat to high, and mix well with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients and dissolve the tomato paste. After it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender (it’s ok if it’s still a little crunchy because it will continue to cook in the oven). Remove from the heat.
7. Add raisins, cilantro, curry powder, and cayenne, mix well, and taste to see if you’d like to add more seasoning to the quinoa.
8. Gently spoon the quinoa filling into each onion shell, then generously drizzle the stuffed onions with olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro before serving.