My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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stuffed peppers with black bean crema

I am so flipping excited to share this recipe with you.

You have no idea!

Any stuffed pepper recipe I currently have on my recipe page is about to be deleted.

We have a new favorite.

This recipe was inspired 100% by a meal Chris and I had this weekend.  After our long day hiking up a mountain, I was in no mood to cook.  We went out for dinner, for the first time in awhile, to El Monte.  We had never been before, but heard amazing reviews.  It’s not right downtown and kind of set back from the street, so even after 1.5yrs here, we just now heard about it.

El Monte is Oaxacan inspired and the menu is packed with stellar options.  They use local, organic produce + meats whenever possible, use freshly cut avocados for each bowl of guacamole, and make all of their liquor drinks from scratch [no syrup mixes]. 

We were impressed with the menu and even more impressed that I had more than 1 option [gluten free + veggie can be tricky!].  Our server brought us a complimentary bowl of their original guacamole, which we requested.  You also have the option of “make your own” or “exotic guacamole,” which includes strawberries, mangos, goat cheese, and a few other ingredients.  We’ve heard it’s phenomenal.  The original guacamole did not disappoint and neither did the fresh chips + salsa.  They brought out a smoky red salsa + a tomatillo salsa.  The red was without a doubt, my favorite salsa ever.

Okay, I’ll stop gushing now.

Chris and I ended up ordering the same thing, a rarity.

Roasted Relleno – poblano chile stuffed with coastal rice, red quinoa, greens, menonita cheese, nestled atop crema black bean sauce, served with coastal rice + market fresh roasted vegetables

As soon as the first bite hit my lips, I knew this needed to be recreated at home.  While I changed up a few things, I kept the idea of the dish the same.

  • no poblano pepper – they’re expensive right now
  • no coastal rice – no idea what that is?
  • white quinoa instead of red – it’s cheaper!
  • small amount of black beans mixed into the rice/quinoa mixture – just because

The mix of ground brown rice and quinoa I decided on, was pretty spot on to the texture we had at dinner.  It was a thick, sticky rice, not lacking at all in moisture.

I decided to only lightly roast the pepper, so it still had a little bit of bite to it.  I also kept the black bean crema sauce a bit thicker and left more of the bean texture.

The flavors that night were fresh, but not overpowering.  I usually spice my Mexican-style recipes much more than this, but I loved the simplicity of the flavors.  The texture of the rice + quinoa mixture really sets this dish apart from other stuffed pepper recipes I’ve made in the past.  It’s so creamy that it seems indulgent.

Quinoa, Rice + Bean Stuffed Peppers [serves 3]

  • 3 large bell peppers
  • 1/2c quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2c ground brown rice
  • 2c no/low sodium vegetable broth
  • 3/4c black beans
  • 2T oil
  • 1.5t garlic, minced
  • 1t ground cumin
  • 1/2t oregano
  • 1/2-1t adobo chipotle sauce [opt]
  • 0-1/2t *salt
  • black pepper
  • cheese [opt]
  1. Wash your peppers, slice lengthwise and carefully deseed.
  2. Coat on all sides with a small amount of oil [about 1/2-1T total] and sprinkle with salt.  Set aside on a baking sheet.
  3. In a medium sized pot, heat 1T oil over medium heat.
  4. Once hot, add the garlic, cumin, oregano *salt [if using no sodium broth add 1/4-1/2t], and adobo sauce [if using].
  5. Stir constantly for 20-30 seconds until the garlic begins to brown. 
  6. Add in the rinsed quinoa, ground brown rice, and veggie broth and stir well.
  7. Turn the heat up slightly and bring to a boil, stirring every minute or so.
  8. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover for 25min. 
    • Preheat your broiler on high in the last 5 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10min.
  10. Place the baking sheet with the peppers into the oven to broil for 3-5min per side.  The peppers should be slightly softened, but not charred or mushy.
  11. Fluff the quinoa mixture with a fork and gently stir in the black beans, and fresh ground black pepper.  Add more salt if needed.  The mixture with be very moist + sticky.
  12. Stuff mixture into the peppers.  Top with cheese [I used extra sharp cheddar] + broil if desired.

tips/substitutions:  Brown rice can be ground in a high power blender, coffee grinder, spice grinder or magic bullet.  Grind until the point of fine pieces, but not at all flour-like.  It will look like flakes of brown rice.  Arrowhead Mills also sells this.  If you don’t want to use ground brown rice, use 1c quinoa with 2c broth and reduce the cook time to 15min.  Chipotle adobo sauce comes in a small can and is extremely spicy.  You can freeze the sauce in an ice cube tray and store in a plastic bag in the freezer to use again.  Substitute 1/4t [or more] cayenne pepper + 1/2t chili powder if desired.

Black Bean Crema Sauce

  • 1c black beans
  • 1/4c half + half creamer
  • 1/2T oil
  • 3/4t garlic, minced
  • 1/2t ground cumin
  • 1/2t chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/8t salt
  1. In a food processor/magic bullet/blender combine the beans and cream and process until smooth but not fully puréed.  You want some of the bean texture left in tact.
  2. In a small pan, over medium heat, heat the oil.
  3. Once hot, add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, cayenne + salt and stir constantly for 20-30sec until the garlic begins to brown.
  4. Empty the black bean mixture into the hot pan, reduce heat to med-low, and stir until combined.
  5. Let cook for 2-3, stirring frequently.
  6. Serve under or on top of the stuffed pepper.

tips/substitutions: To make vegan, I would use soymilk or plain soy creamer. 

To add a little more oomph to this meal, mix in a lightly seasoned protein of choice to the rice mixture.

And you always have the option to broil a little cheese on top.

Someone did a little happy dance in the kitchen today.

And that someone was me.



photography blog updated with the lovely krista + julian

Reader Comments (59)

They look awesome! I just made (canned! for the very first time, I canned) hot pepper jelly and have quite a few extra peppers on hand. I love peppers in all ways and forms.

They look wonderful, especially with the cheese on top. I have added this recipe (alongside many of your other recipes too) to the page on my blog called 'Recipes I Want To Try'). Looking forward to it.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZoe

They look awesome! So colourful and fresh :)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren @ What Lauren Likes

Wow! This looks so, so incredibly delicious!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGen

That place sounds so good and your re-creation turned out amazingly! I love that the peppers are stuffed to the side. Am I just sheltered, because I've seriously never seen that!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne @ Healthful Pursuit

Looks incredible! I love stuffed peppers, so any reason to try a new one is okay in my book!

I was already thinking these looked delicious, and then I got to the pictures with cheese on top and it just got so much more delicious... the black bean crema looks amazing too!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecca @ Amuse Your Bouche

Oh my I haven't had stuffed peppers in such a long time! At first, I thought I read "banana cream" sauce and I thought…hmmm, that sounds interesting on a stuffed pepper. Haha, then I went back and re-read it…makes more sense now. :)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

that recipe and the restaurant sound incredible! yet another thing we need to do if we ever make it up to ft. collins!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather (Heather's Dish)

Hello, amazing and not-too-hard looking dinner. I'm usually intimdated by stuffed peppers but this looks doable and delicious! And I probably have most of these ingredients already at home! Yay!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

These look great, satisfying yet bright veggies!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizAshlee

Wow, this looks amazing! I loved stuffed peppers and may need to try a version of this, thanks!

you had me at black bean crema *drool*

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdee

I was just thinking I wanted to make stuffed peppers and this Mexican version looks absolutely delicious!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjanet @ the taste space

Totally looks amazing!!! I love stuffed peppers!!

Haven't made stuffed pepper in forever! We have this local chipotle paste here that would go great in this.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStoriesAndSweetPotatoes

Love, love this! Very unique way to stuff peppers. Will definitely try!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie @ bake your day

I'm never patient enough to wait for peppers to fully cook through and always end up eating a half raw pepper filled with something slightly warm haha. these sound awesome!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkatie @KatieDid

Oh yum...those look delicious. I especially love the black bean crema. So simply, but packed full of flavor. It's little sides and sauces like those that spruce up my normal work-week chicken breasts and salmon fillets. Pinning this to my recipe page ASAP! Thanks so much for sharing and I love your blog by the way.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBritne @ Shabbott's Habits

I can think of many things that black bean crema sauce would be awesome on!

The beautiful, bold peppers alone set my mouth awater! But this is a great recipe, especially for entertaining.
Thank you!!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeirdre @ Ladies Holiday

I didn't even think about that! You're right! :)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks for pinning! i hope the sauce spruces up your work week meals!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Haha, I know what you mean. This was pretty easy to time so everything was done all at once. :)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

That is what I was going for! I hope you find them easy to make + delicious! :)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I know!! Come here!!!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Banana cream!! That gave me a good laugh this morning!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

It's so creamy even without the cheese, but you know, cheese never hurts...especially when broiled. ;)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I actually thought it would look better to slice them lengthwise. Not sure I've ever seen it done either! I wanted some of the stem left in tact on each pepper.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I'm excited this recipe made the list!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Seriously, can I come and live in your kitchen? Everything that comes out of there looks amazing! YUM-MEE!

I always get your feed (no pun intended) in the middle of the night and then I think I dream of it after quickly browsing though, only to return to it in the morning :) and last night I dreamt of red quinoa!!! hehe

Broiled cheese is never an option in my opinion. :)
Can't wait to try the black bean crema sauce. Looks divine Ashley. Thanks for recreating!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Eats Almond Butter

I am so flipping excited to eat this. You have no idea!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMama Pea

These look fantastic!! I love any black bean recipe and have been wanting a good stuffed pepper recipe! Serendipity I do believe :)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

That bubbly melted cheese on top looks fabulous. I can never get over how beautiful your pictures are!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis @ Hummusapien

When you go back, try the exotic guac...takes a few bites to get used to, but it's amazing! :-) We usually go to Rio for their margaritas and appetizers, but El Monte wins on dinner!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChloe

these sound awesome!

Ashley, I had to comment to tell you, GOL protein is on sale right now at WF for $19.99, plus there's a $5 off coupon in the Whole Deal that you can use on top of that. I bought 3 of them. I know you love that stuff.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

That looks soooooo good!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

Stuffed peppers are a favorite of mine and these look more interesting than my usual ones - will have to try 'em!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMegan @ MegGoesNomNom

This looks like a dinner I could get down on every night, no joke! That restaurant sounds awesome.. this recipe would be awesome with fresh from the garden peppers... I can't wait until summer! Oh and btw, I made your simplified banana scramble with breakfast this morning, ohhhh dear thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of the banana scramble :)

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Hi Ashley! I'm delighted at having found your blog! Lovely recipes and pics! Following you on FB! Will keep in touch!

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmbika

Oh wow...this looks incredible! Definitely going to make this one soon!

I love recreating favorite restaurant meals in my own kitchen! This one looks fantastic! ...and if I ever make it out by you I MUST go to that restaurant!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternatalie (the sweets life)

Thanks for saying hi!!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Weird, at ours it's 24.99! But still a good deal. It's on sale really frequently...thankfully, because I'm hooked! Are you enjoying it??

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

We'll definitely give it a try! El Monte doesn't even compare to the Rio as far as the food is concerned!! :)

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thank you my dear!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Heck yes you are!

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

[...] Ashley’s Black Bean Crema. [...]

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