Stuffed Bell Peppers With Quinoa

I was looking for inspiration for tonight’s dinner so I turned to one of my new favorite sites, Foodgawker, to see what my fellow food bloggers were cooking up. When I came upon a picture of stuffed bell peppers, my interest was piqued. Johnny loves stuffed peppers but I’ve never made them before and I was up for the challenge. The aforementioned photo was taken by The Cilantropist, who had helpfully posted a recipe for classic stuffed peppers on her blog. I had made sauce over the weekend, so that part was taken care of, and I had some ground turkey meat on hand. I only wanted to make two peppers so I adjusted the recipe accordingly, substituting quinoa for the brown rice.

Don’t those look pretty? Before they went into the oven, I spooned marinara sauce over the top. I’m normally not a huge fan of peppers, but these were pretty tasty. The turkey meat was slightly dry, so next time I would either just use a lean ground beef (I bought Simply Grazin’ organic grass fed beef last week at Whole Foods and it was fantastic!) or I would saute the turkey for less time and let it cook through once it was in the pepper. All in all it was a delightful, healthy, and colorful meal.

Here is my adaption of her recipe:

2 large bell peppers

1/4 cup quinoa (I used a half and it was a little too much.)

1/2 pound ground beef or turkey

3/4 cup diced onions (add this to the diced pepper tops)

1 tablespoon parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

1 garlic clove

Marinara sauce, either homemade or store bought

Romano or Parmigiano cheese

Place peppers in a pot of boiling salted water and let cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove from water and let the peppers dry and cool to room temperature. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. At the same time, add olive and a minced garlic clove to a saute pan. Add meat and cook until just browned. Add the meat to the quinoa and mix well. In the saute pan, add the onion and peppers, sauteing until the onion is translucent. Add parsley and salt and cook for one more minute. Add the vegetables to the quinoa and meat. Place the cooled peppers in a square baking dish. Spoon the stuffing into each pepper. Top with marinara sauce. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle romano cheese to tops of pepper if desired and cook for five more minutes.

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