Cheese and Quinoa-Stuffed Red Pepper
(found in Shape January 2011)
1 cup dry quinoa (I used the Bob's Red Mill Organic brand) - we're talking 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in 1/4 cup of this stuff!
4 large red bell peppers (red peppers have a significantly higher level of nutrients than green and contain lycopene, which is a carotene that helps to protect against cancer and heart disease)
1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole red onion minced
1/4 tsp minced garlic (you could probably use more)
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 bushel of fresh spinach
1 container sliced white button mushrooms
2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
1 cup finely shredded cheddar
I also used 1 lb ground beef because my husband likes his meat. However, the quinoa has plenty of protein in it!
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place quinoa and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed. Set aside and keep covered.
2. Cut tops off red bell peppers and remove seeds and membranes. Keep the peppers whole.
3. Heat a medium skillet on medium-high; add olive oil. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, and seasoning and saute until veggies are slightly tender, about 4 minutes. (this is when I also cooked the ground beef)
4. Transfer sauteed vegetables to a bowl. Mix in cooked quinoa and gently fold in cheddar. Fill pepper with the mixture.
5. Place in baking dish and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until pepper is slightly charred. Serve warm or at room temp
6. I garnished with cilantro!
Karl's opinion: "This is pretty good!"