Carrot Ginger Quinoa Pepper “Jacks”

As kitschy as some find it, I absolutely love holiday “themed” foods. Here in America, Halloween is about two weeks away and I’ve already seen a decent showing online of different party foods. When I was growing up, a big trend in our family were witch finger cookies. Some people may find it cheesy, but I think it’s fun to fully embrace the holiday spirit!

Unlike Christmas or other religious holidays, most people have at least one Halloween party to attend at the end of October. I crafted this recipe for a fun bring-along option to those gatherings.

My Pepper Jack…o’-lantern. Puns!

Depending on the size of your peppers, these can be a colorful side or hearty plant-based entree. You can get pretty creative with the fillings too! I’ll include what I used below, but really any combination or veggies + grains + beans will work.

Trader Joe’s saves lives, really.

I also outline here a fun method to insure super-flavorful quinoa. Instead of cooking in water or broth, this recipe simmers quinoa in a zesty carrot/ginger juice. I bet pomegranate juice would be just as delicious.


This makes enough for two stuffed peppers, but you will likely have some filling left over. Recipe inspired by Spabettie.


  • 1/2 cup red or black quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 cup carrot juice
  • 1 TBS freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup canned chick peas
  • 1 cup kale
  • Few sprigs cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 2 large bell peppers
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Toast your quinoa over medium heat for about five minutes, making sure it does not burn. Add carrot juice and bring to a boil.
  2. Just before boiling, stir in freshly grated ginger. Reduce heat to simmer, cover pot, and let cook until all liquid is absorbed (about 15-20 minutes).
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, slice off the tops of your peppers, scoop out the seeds, and “carve.” This is the most fun part!
  5. Remove quinoa from heat and “fluff” with a  fork. Add chick peas, kale, cilantro and carrots to pot, along with a few shakes of salt and pepper.
  6. Stuff peppers with quinoa mix. Bake for 25 minutes until slightly softened.
  7. Serve with a green salad and enjoy!
Almost too cute to eat! Almost.
I may have had a little too much fun with this photoshoot🎃

Be sure to tag @garlichead and follow me on Instagram so I can see your creations!

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