Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Cody and I have really been trying to eat healthier lately. It started off with us both wanting to lose weight, and that is still a big part of our lifestyle change – but it has also become a major health goal. While taking an Environmental Studies class this quarter, we were required to watch a documentary called Forks over Knives (currently available on Netflix). This documentary talked about the effects of animal products on our bodies, and made Cody and I want to eat less meat, dairy, and animal based products. Now neither one of us is willing to give up animal products entirely (especially Cody and his meat), so we have committed to “Meatless Mondays”, which as of late, are more like “Vegan Mondays”…but “Meatless Monday” just has a much better ring to it, don’t you think? Yesterday was actually World Meat Free Day, so our Monday goal was especially fitting! This week I made something that I absolutely loved, and I thought I’d share it with you all. In the past, I’ve made stuffed bell peppers with ingredients that included ground meat and cheese and we both really enjoyed them, so I decided to put a healthier spin on the recipe and came up with Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers! I love this recipe because it is versatile – you can add or leave out just about any of the ingredients, or mix and match! I made one pepper with no salsa in the mixture, and one with no beans in order to cater to my family’s preferences and they still tasted great! I have a feeling these might become a regular meal for us!

*Note: The recipe below serves about 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 bell peppers (one per serving/person) (I usually go with orange, yellow, or red)
  • 1 green bell pepper (to be chopped up inside the mixture)
  • 1 can of black beans (I go with organic, low or no sodium, and if I have the time, I cook some straight from the bag ahead of time)
  • 1 can of corn (unsalted)
  • 1 container of salsa or pico de gallo
  • One package of Near East Roasted Red Pepper & Basil quinoa (you can use any flavor or brand you like, this package has about 2 servings in which is all I needed and I thought the flavor would work well)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 of a yellow onion
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • A little olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare the quinoa per the instructions on the package
  3. Heat up the beans and corn on the stove (in separate pots)
  4. Chop up the green bell pepper, onion, and garlic
  5. Mix the cooked quinoa, corn, beans, onion, and garlic together in a large bowl
  6. Add in salsa or pico de gallo to the mixture (as much as you want, depending on how spicy you want it to be) and mix well
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste
  8. Chop the tops off of the remaining bell peppers and de-seed them
  9. Rub some olive oil onto the bottom of the cooking sheet you will be using to bake the bell peppers on
  10. If using a cooking sheet that has edges (which is my preference) add a little water into the bottom of the pan
  11. Set the bell peppers on the cooking sheet
  12. Spoon the mixture you have prepared into each bell pepper so that it overflows a tiny bit at the top
  13. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes (they can be cooked longer if you want the bell peppers to be even softer)
  14. Remove from the oven, plate, and enjoy!

I chose to pair this meal with a fresh, organic kale and spinach salad with my homemade vinaigrette dressing (I was going for a natural, no preservatives side dish! Tossed in a few string carrots and cherry tomatoes and we were good to go! Try out this Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe and let me know what you think!

Straight out of the oven!

Straight out of the oven!

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers & Kale, Spinach Salad

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers & Kale, Spinach Salad

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