Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stuffed Red Peppers with Quinoa

I have been trying to eat a little healthier with the holidays approaching and found this recipe in Everyday Food: Light. Quinoa is one of my new favorite staples, described often as a nutritional powerhouse and an excellent source of protein. I have now made this dish several times and each time I like it more and more. The recipe in the book doesn't call for any meat, but I added some chicken sausage to give it added flavor and protein. The stuffed peppers pair well with brussel sprouts or other greens.

Stuffed Red Peppers with Quinoa 
Serves: 4 Prep: 35 minutes: Total time: 1 hour 

4 red bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely graded provolone, mozzarella or swiss cheese ( 4 ounces)
3 spinach and garlic chicken sausages, diced

1. Preheat oven to 450 with rack in the upper third. Slice a very thin layer from the base of a bell pepper so it sits upright. Slice of the top, just below the stem and remove the ribs and seeds from top and bottom parts. Repeat with remaining peppers. Reserve bottom of peppers and dice.

2. Cook quinoa according to directions (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups of water).  Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion, garlic coriander, chopped pepper tops and chicken sausage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened (5 min).  Remove from heat.

3. Once quinoa is finished, combine with onion mixture. Stir in parsley, walnuts and 3/4 cup cheese.; season with salt and pepper.

4. Place pepper in a baking dish and divide quinoa mixture evenly among peppers. Bake for 15-20 minutes or when peppers are tender. Top evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese; bake until cheese melts approx. 10 minutes. Serve warm. 

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