I’m back home in Columbus, visiting my parents, and I absolutely love coming home. I’m blessed with wonderful parents who I genuinely enjoy spending time with. They’re encouraging, they both have an amazing sense of humor, and I will always be in in awe of their wisdom. (Even when I hate to admit that they’re right.)
Growing up, my mom stayed at home with my brother and I, which meant she did
most all of the cooking. And for that, I’m grateful. (Mom, I’m sorry for all the eye rolling. Thank you for making Tuna Noodle Casserole every time I asked for it.)
Anyways, I figured it was about time I make my parents dinner. Right? Right.
First of all, my mom has taken to this whole “healthy” thing quite nicely. She doesn’t eat a lot of meat anymore. She reads nutrition labels. She’s even gotten my dad doing a workout DVD with her. My dad is your classic meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. So I knew he would take a little more convincing on this vegetarian dinner I was dreaming up.
After sorting through some old recipes, I decided I’d make something healthy but easy. I wanted to try something that my parents could recreate on a weeknight, if they decided they liked it. So I used a few things I wouldn’t normally use: prepackaged lentils and quinoa. Normally I buy mine in the bulk bins, but I found a few packages at the grocery store that would speed up the process, and it would make it easier on my parents if they wanted to try this. You can certainly use lentils and quinoa from the bulk bins, just be sure to add some cumin, garlic, and crushed red pepper to this recipe.
This is very similar to the Lentil Stuffed Pepper recipe I made here, but I did make a few changes. The packaged lentils made them a lot spicier, and I think it was the cumin. I also didn’t use cheese. Pretty much everything else was the same.
For the recipe, click here.
I wasn’t sure what to serve with the peppers, so I decided on black beans and quinoa, mixed with some sauteed onions and peppers, topped with avocado. The quinoa I bought had some spices in it, but you could just add garlic, cumin, and cayenne, if you want to spice your own. Toss in black beans, pepper, onion, and avocado, and you’re good to go.
How did they react? I think my mom was more on board with it than my dad. It was their first time having quinoa, and I don’t think they loved it, but overall, I think they liked the lentils in the peppers. I think my dad would have been happy if I had added some ground turkey or something, but at least I got them trying something different