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Stuffed peppers

Healthy Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

 By Rob Poulos On August 20, 2012

Sometimes the dishes that seem the most complicated can actually
be the easiest to make, such as stuffed peppers. The next time
you’re in the mood for stuffed peppers, think about what you want
inside and start there. Whether you want a meat or vegetarian dish,
figuring out what’s on the inside is the hardest part.

Once you’ve made the tough decision, all you have to do is decide what type of flavor you want and that will help you determine what type of peppers to get. Bell peppers come in a wide variety of colors, but red, green, yellow and orange are the most widely available. Not sure which color to get? Take a sniff and see how they smell and let your nose decide.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 6 bell peppers (choose your colors)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp. flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 tsp. each salt & black pepper
  • ½ tsp. each basil, oregano and smoky paprika
  • ¼ tsp. thyme & marjoram
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Add water, bay leaf and broth to saucepan and bring to a boil. Add quinoa.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, and remove bay leaf.
  3. Cut the tops off peppers and remove seeds and membranes.
  4. For a softer pepper, sauté 5 minutes then remove to baking sheet.
  5. Steam peppers for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on desired crunchiness.
  6. In a large skillet add oil and sauté onions and carrots until tender.
  7. Stir in quinoa, herbs & spices and pine nuts and cook until warmed through.
  8. Stuff peppers liberally with mixture and top with parmesan cheese if desired.
  9. Preheat oven to 350° F and bake for 20 minutes, covered.
  10.  Remove cover and bake an additional 5 minutes.


Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 208

Servings: 6

Serving Size: 1 stuffed pepper

Protein: 7 g

Fat: 5.3 g

Carbs: 35.5 g

 

Change It Up

Since bell peppers go well with many different types of cuisine, changing up this recipe is going to be very easy. You have so many different options available to you that your biggest dilemma will be which variation to try first. To get you started, try this different stuffed pepper variations:

  • Replace herbs and quinoa with rice and ground turkey and top with salsa and cheese.
  • Stuff with black beans, ground beef and onion and top with chili sauce.
  • Make vegetarian Mexican peppers by mixing rice, beans and onions with salsa and cheese.
  • Chop chicken breasts and combine with risotto for a stuffed Italian style pepper.
  • Create a side dish and cut peppers in half before stuffing.
  • Add ground lamb, couscous and dried fruit to bell peppers.

When making alternatives for recipes such as this one, just think about what types of foods use bell peppers and go from there. You can make jambalaya stuff bell peppers or fajitas or even curry stuffed peppers. Just let your imagination and your palate be your guide.

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