Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Call me a weirdo, but I always seem to forget how much I enjoy the taste of crisp vegetables. This past weekend, Bill and I went up to Sacramento for a wedding of one of his family friends. While we were visiting, we stayed with his childhood friend and his wife. While trying to keep a low profile before our flight Sunday, we decided to stay in and watch the first half of the 49ers game {luckily we avoided watching the second half leading to their loss}. Our hostess with the mostess offered a delightful spread of snacks- including the sweet chili flavored Wonderful Pistachios we gifted them as a thank you. I munched on typical football snacks like chips and salsa, but then my eyes drew to the hummus and carrots blocking my straight shot for the pistachios. Hmmm I thought sure, I’ll have one or two, might as well eat something healthy. But look out– when was the last time you had a snack that was refreshing and light and didn’t make you want to run a 5k afterward? Needless to say, I found my new afternoon snack at work. As a result, I started brainstorming other dishes that I could make that would fulfill my desire for something fresh and tasty and keep those pesky calories in line. And that’s what brings us to maybe the tastiest Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe I’ve made thus far…

Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
6 large bell peppers, preferably red or orange
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.2 lb lean ground turkey
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
a few good pinches of kosher or sea salt
a small pinch of ground black pepper
1-14 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 jalapeno, diced
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled or cubed very small
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Cook your quinoa according to the directions on the package. Substitute chicken broth for water. Bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to low. Cook 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and set aside.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare your peppers to be stuffed. Using a paring knife, cut the stem off of the pepper leaving a wide circular top. Trim out the ribs and seeds until the pepper is clean inside.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it is soft and translucent, two to three minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring. Add the turkey and seasonings. Cook, stirring to break up the turkey, until the pink is just gone. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, jalapeno, feta and quinoa.

Fill peppers firmly with the turkey-quinoa mixture. Mound it a little on top. Place peppers in a glass baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 -40 minutes. Serve as soon as possible.

Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers


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