Southwest Style Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

14370238_10210214918587513_3339022021947708541_n-1

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

Advertisements

Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers – ★★★★★

Image

I have the greatest neighbors. We frequently share tastes of what we are making for dinner with each other and share recipes. Recently they shared a stuffed bell pepper with me and I cannot even describe how delicious it was. It reminded me of how often I used to make stuffed bell peppers when Perry and I first got married and put me in the mood to give it another go. I didn’t want to make my traditional beef and cranberry peppers because we ate them so much I doubt I’ll ever make them again haha! I found this recipe on Betty Crocker’s website and I absolutely thrilled with how they came out. Perry gave these 5 stars and here is why:

“I used to love when Kelsey made stuffed peppers because they were tasty and I had leftovers for lunch three days after she made them. This recipe exceeded my expectations. I thought they might be overdone with taco flavor taking away from the actual pepper, but it was quite the opposite and I hope Kels will make these more often. Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorites and she nailed it with this recipe. If you work and like to take home cooked lunches, like I do, you will like this recipe. I had lunch for two days and we also got two dinners out of it.”

Serves: 8        Calories: 340          Time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded (We used red and yellow)
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • l pkg taco seasoning (I used chicken taco seasoning b/c I like the taste better)
  • 2 (15.5 ox) cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar or mexican mix cheese. 
  • OPTIONAL: Taco toppings such as sour cream, chopped tomato, guac, etc. 

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350. In a large saucepan bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add bell pepper halves and boil until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet cook meat and onion over medium high heat until the meat is cooked through. Drain and stir in taco seasoning, kidney beans, and tomato sauce. Heat until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. In and 8-inch glass baking dish arrange the pepper halves and spoon taco mixture into each one.
  4. Top with cheese and bake for 10-12 minutes until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.
  5. Top with optional fixings and serve
  6. Enjoy!

*Original recipe belongs to Bettycrocker.com

**Photo is an original belonging to me 

Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers – ★★★★★

379209_10200422501143197_1094161024_n

The page I took this original recipe from called these “Philly” Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers… However, being a native Philadelphian I cannot call something that doesn’t involve the soft and delicious Amoroso Roll a “Philly cheesesteak”… In order to avoid committing blasphemy against my favorite city in the entire universe we’ll keep their name out of it 🙂 That being said, these things are pretty damn good considering how healthy they are. I was pleasantly surprised when I wanted more. Some of the original reviews said the peppers were “watery” after baking them but I didn’t find that to be a problem. These are very cheesy (although you really only use 1 slice of cheese per pepper) and the sautéed sweet onions are to die for. The original recipe includes mushroom but since I don’t touch anything that has so much as a hint of mushroom I omitted that ingredient. I will however provide the link to the original recipe at the end so if you want to add them you’ll have access to that recipe.  Perry gave these ★★★★★.

“When we first got married the only things Kelsey knew how to make were mac-n-cheese and beef stuffed peppers. She claims to have gotten sick of stuffed peppers since we had them twice a week for almost a year. I missed the peppers and was excited when she told me we would be having stuffed peppers for dinner this week. I didn’t realize though that she wasn’t making her old chef special, but instead cheesesteak stuffed peppers. I’m happy she found a new way to make them because maybe that means she’ll try other concoctions. As far as the recipe goes my only complaint is that she didn’t make more.”

Serves: 3 (2 per serving.)       Calories: 256 (this changes if you use more or less cheese.)

Ingredients: 

– 1o oz. sliced roast beef, cut into thin strips

– 1-2 pkgs. of provolone cheese (about 8-10 slices), this depends on how much cheese you want to use. I only needed 1 package.

– 3 large green bell peppers

– 1 large sweet onion, chopped

– 3 tbsp. olive or canola oil

– 1 tbsp. minced garlic

– salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

1.) Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

2.) Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs.

3.) Sauté onions seasoned with salt and pepper (to your taste) until transparent, approximately 8-10 mins.

4.) Add roast beef strips and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes

5.) Line the inside of each pepper with 1/2 or 1 whole piece of provolone cheese (Or you could eliminate this step and just put the cheese on top to of the peppers save calories. The amount of cheese you use depends on how many calories you want to eat. I did 1/2 piece on the inside)

6.) Fill each pepper with the onion/beef mix until filled to the top.

7.) Lay 1/2 or 1 whole piece of provolone overtop each of the peppers.

8.) Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown.

*Original recipe found at http://www.quickneasyrecipes.net/
**Photo is an original taken by me