It seems so obvious that quinoa and Italian go together, right? Seriously, I don't much care because I really loved this meal. I loved the flavors and I loved that it was so nutritious. I mean, with all the baking I do, I have to try to make my meals a little more healthful. For those who don't know what quinoa is, it is an ancient grain that is high in protein and essential amino acids like lysine and also has calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It can be used instead of rice in many dishes. It is also gluten free.
I have to brag a bit, because it make me so proud that every one of my kids ate this, including the pepper, without complaining and even said "MMM! I like peppers." It's like every mom's dream. Well, maybe not every mom, but those mom's that make their kids eat fruit, yogurt, cheese for snacks...but I was honestly surprised that they ate the peppers, and actually liked them.
I would definitely make these again and not change a thing.
QUINOA ITALIAN STUFFED PEPPERS
- 5 red, orange or yellow peppers
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth or stock (or veggie)
- 1/2-1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, quartered and diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and diced
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
- 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
- 2-3 TBSP chopped fresh basil
- 2-3 TBSP white wine
- jarred sauce
- 1 cup mozzerella or Italian cheese
Wash peppers and careful cut the stem out. Line cookie sheet with tinfoil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Cut pepper in half and place on cookie sheet.
Drizzle wine over cooked quinoa. Dump in cooked veggies and spinach, beans, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and basil. Mix to combine. Taste for seasoning.
Stuff peppers with filling. Place a large spoonful of jarred sauce over the quinoa stuffing. Place a few TBSP of cheese over each. Bake in preheated oven for 25-40 minutes, depending on how tender you want your pepper. Note: I only did 4 peppers and put the filling in a baking dish, topped with cheese which was delicious on it's own.