Southwest Style Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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We have been eating so much cheese, pasta and take out recently that we needed to kick off this week with a healthy veggie dinner. I’m sure I don’t need to preach the benefits of quinoa too much these days because it has bee exhausted at this point, but I will highlight a few of my favorite qualities of this grain: gluten free, high in protein, high in fiber and super high in antioxidants. Just heed my advice and get this stuff into your diet immediately! This recipe is a slam dunk in that it is delicious without the fats, salt and carbs. Please note that I am not calling this recipe vegetarian or vegan because I did cook the quinoa with beef broth. YOU CAN make this vegetarian by cooking the quinoa with water.

Makes: 8 peppers     Calories: 176/stuffed half pepper    Time: prep- 30 mins, cook- 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers (the more round the better), cut in half with ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package. I cooked mine with beef broth but you can use vegetable broth or just water.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • OPTIONAL: if you like a little heat 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can of sweet whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2/3 cup of your favorite salsa, we used “hot traditional”
  • OPTIONAL: cheese for topping

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package. This takes about 30 minutes so be sure to allot the time for this step.
  2. In a large bowl mix together cooked quinoa, garlic, green onion, spices, beans, corn and salsa.
  3. Prepare the peppers by halving them and cleaning out the ribs/seeds
  4. Scoop the quinoa mixture into each pepper halve and place in greased 9×13 baking dish.
  5. If you want to top the pepper with cheese do so now and cover the baking dish with foil.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes and remove the foil to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://www.thegardengrazer.com

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Southwestern Style Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing – ★★★★★

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When I think of a fulfilling meal salad is not the first thing that comes to mind. I am trying to teach my boys healthy eating habits and in order to do that I feel the need to set an example. That is where the idea of salad for dinner was conceived. This recipe blew me away because not only is it healthy but it is filling and delicious too. The vegetables add substance and texture while the dressing provides out-of-this-world flavor. The only thing I might do differently is add a little bit of avocado to the dressing to thicken it up a little bit. I never thought I would want salad for dinner, but I am certainly looking forward to the next time we do. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is so easy to throw together. I had everything prepped so when it was time to have dinner I just threw it all together, two nights in a row 🙂  Perry gave five stars and here is why:

“This salad is awesome. It is packed with so many different vegetables that every forkful is different. My favorite part of the salad was the green dressing. If I know Kelsey she put way more garlic then the recipe called for originally and that made it almost a little spicy which is how I like it. I suggested to Kels that she make the dressing again the next time we do tacos, because who doesn’t love a saucy street taco?! Five stars!”

Serves: 4 huge salads     Calories: 326.25 per serving      Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • Bag of 3 hearts of romaine, chopped OR 4-5 cups of romaine lettuce
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Santa fe tortilla strips for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1.5 bunches of cilantro, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (original recipe calls for two but I used four. If you like it spicy use four cloves.)
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend/pulse until completely combined. Set into refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Assemble the salad with prepped ingredients. Pile lettuce into a bowl or onto a plate. Lay tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, beans and tortilla strips on top. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
  3. Enjoy!

*Dressing recipe adapted from http://www.damndelicious.com

*Photo is an original belonging to me