Confession: I was not a huge fan of bell peppers; or at least I didn’t think I was. I typically avoid cooking with them or leave them untouched on my plate at a restaurant. But when a recent video shoot left me with a surplus of beautiful red and yellow peppers, I couldn’t let them go to waste. It was time to give them another go.
With quinoa as the base and the addition of a few veggies, almonds, cranberries, herbs, and spices, I was able to create a quick and easy stuffing for the bell peppers. The sweet taste and tender texture of the peppers balance the quinoa stuffing perfectly.
I encourage my readers and my family to give new foods a try, even if they think they don’t like them. It was time I listened to my own advice. This recipe changed everything I previously thought about peppers, and instead of avoiding them I now crave them! The recipe (which is below) is also part of my 14-Day Healthy You Challenge. If you're looking to eat better, lose weight or just take better care of yourself with food, I hope you'll join the challenge. Click here to find out more.
- 1 1/2cups quinoa
- 3cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
- 1tablespoon olive oilplus more for preparing baking pan
- 1/2small yellow oniondiced
- 1large carrotdiced
- 2 cloves garlicminced
- 1teaspoon cumin
- 1teaspoon dried oregano
- 1teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3cup sliced almonds
- 1/3cup dried cranberries
- 4 red or yellow bell pepperscored, seeded and halved
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the quinoa and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the carrots, and garlic, and cook stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add the reserved quinoa, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, almonds, and cranberries and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Set aside to let filling cool until slightly warm.
- Oil a 9x12 baking pan. Divide the quinoa mixture evenly among the bell peppers. Place the reserved top on each pepper and arrange them upright in the pan. Cover the peppers with foil and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until peppers are tender and filling is hot throughout. Transfer to plates and serve.