Quick & Easy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa may not have reached household name-status quite yet, but it's definitely getting there. And why shouldn't it? Considered a "super grain" (it's actually not a grain at all), this seed is super high in protein, gluten free (a.k.a., easy to digest), and rich in some serious power nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, and folate. If you haven't explored the world of quinoa yet, this recipe makes for a quick, easy, and delicious introduction.

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 4 large red or yellow bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, for serving

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Stir the quinoa into the boiling water, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile, use a sharp paring knife to cut out the core from the peppers. Pull out any seeds and rinse the peppers inside and out. Place them cut side down on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high power until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, mushrooms, garlic, and crushed red pepper, if using. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the zucchini, tomatoes, oregano, and salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and remove the pan from the heat.

Place the peppers cut side up in a medium roasting pan. Spoon the filling into the peppers and fill the pan with water 1/2 inch deep. Bake until the peppers are tender and the top of the filling is lightly browned and crunchy, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the marinara over low heat. When the peppers are cooked, place one on each of four plates. Spoon the sauce alongside or on top and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins

Nutrition Facts
Number of Servings: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 297.9
Total Fat: 7.9 g
Sodium: 563.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 49.1 g
Protein: 9.7 g

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