I saw this recipe while flipping through the Vegetarian Times magazine the other day. It looked so good I had to make it, and what better day than Meatless Monday to give it a try. They are so good and so healthy for you.
Carotenoids give red bell peppers their vibrant color and protect against hardening and clogging of the arteries. Potassium rich tomatoes, B vitamin- packed spinach, and soluble-fiber-laden beans add to the heart- friendliness of this dish. The quinoa in the stuffing provides whole-grain goodness with minimal saturated fat and a serving of complete protein. I’ll eat to that!
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1 Tbs. ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 3 large carrots, grated (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
- 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.
Don’t forget to save the juice when you drain the tomatoes. You will put that down on the ban the you bake the peppers on. Also if you did not buy grated pepper jack cheese, you can still grate it. There is a little trick to gating soft cheese. Put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you grate it. This makes it a little bit harder and easier to cut.
This recipe serves 8.
Click image to enlarge.
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