Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
What I love about stuffed peppers is that they are packed with flavor & protein and there is so much versatility in the way they can be created. For this specific recipe, I stuck with the flavors of a traditional stuffed pepper but made some healthy exchanges and eliminations so that they made my tummy happy.
Usually, stuffed peppers are made with rice or even bread crumbs but I chose to use quinoa instead which is a great alternative to any grain- even though quinoa is actually a seed! Also, I chose to eliminate any dairy, so no parm or melted cheese on top. Therefore these were really just made up of ground beef, tomato sauce and peppers but with an added kick of spiciness so flavor was not sacrificed.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 4 peppers
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped hot cherry peppers
- 1 lb heart healthy ground beef 95% lean
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 6 ounce tomato sauce
- Dash salt
- Dash pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Start by bringing the quinoa and water to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let cook for an additional 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed & remove from heat.
- While quinoa is cooking, prepare peppers by carefully slicing the tops off and removing the seeds and set aside.
- Chop onion, garlic & cherry peppers.
- In a large pan, brown meat then add tomato sauce, cherry peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and stir together. Add in quinoa and then salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for a few minutes.
- Next, stuff each pepper with meat mixture and place in a casserole dish. Add 1/2 inch of water to the casserole dish to ensure peppers don't burn.
- Tent the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until peppers are soft.
- Remove from oven and using a spatula carefully transfer pepper to plate.
The beef can easily be substituted for ground turkey or chicken if you prefer to make a leaner meal. Not pictured is the fresh salad that I ate as a side to the stuffed pepper. The crispy crunchy cool fresh salad leaves and ingredients served as a nice contrast to the hot and spicy flavors of the pepper!
QOTD: Do you still cook when it is stifling hot out or do you prefer to avoid the sweat and go out to eat?