Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Blissfully Stuffed After Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

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These Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers are when you want something satisfying without the sensation that you just swallowed a brick; they’re like a hearty salad that is way more fun.  I’ve seen these gracing the pages of Instagram and Pinterest, and turned to the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY for inspiration. (They’re dedicated to the vegetarian movement.) The resulting roasted bell peppers were quite tender and juicy. I topped with tomato sauce for some added flavor. I also made wayyyyy too much quinoa veggie filling and “recycled” it with chicken sausage and over sautéed baby spinach. I definitely want to try a carnivore version — ground turkey? BBQ chicken for the summer? Southwestern beef? I see a Thai version and a Mexican version being taste-tested in the near future.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  • 6 large bell peppers, washed
  • 1/2 c quinoa, dry
  • 3 t light olive oil, divided
  • 1½ t minced garlic
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 15-20 baby carrots, diced
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 yellow squash, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1/2 t basil
  • 1/4 t red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Tomato sauce of choice (optional)
  • Parmesan to top (optional)
  • Baby spinach
  • Fresh basil to garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil or Silpat.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Fluff with fork and set aside.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, with stem ON, slice bell pepper lengthwise; the stem helps keep the shape. Remove any seeds and membrane. Place the peppers on the baking sheet with the cut-side facing down. Roast for 15 min or until peppers are soft, but still firm enough to not collapse.
  4. While peppers roast and quinoa is cooking, sauté minced garlic, thyme, oregano, basil and onions in 2 t light olive oil until onions are translucent. Add cherry tomatoes and carrots and continue sautéing until browned. Mix in zucchini and squash and cook until tender.
  5. Combine cooked quinoa with vegetables and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. While still on baking sheet, fill bell peppers with quinoa vegetable mixture. Spoon tomato sauce and top with parmesan (optional but adds great flavor). Bake for about 8-10 min or until peppers are hot throughout and parmesan has browned.
  7. Let cool before serving. Plate peppers over sautéed spinach and sprinkle with chopped basil to garnish.
  8. Enjoy!

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Favorites‘ “Quinoa-Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers.”

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