Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Now that the Thanksgiving weekend binge eating is over... it's time to get back to clean, healthy eating! I went to the grocery store today and loaded up my cart with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Since the vegetable bin in the fridge is now over-flowing, I decided to make a stuffed bell peppers for dinner (those bell peppers take up a lot of room!).

I found a Mexican Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe, swapped the cooked rice for cooked quinoa, added some corn and a protein... and just like that, a new favorite, one-dish dinner was created! You could use rice instead of quinoa, I know some people are not "fans" of quinoa. Or you could leave out the chicken if you wanted a vegetarian dish. You could also use cooked lean ground turkey or ground beef instead of chicken. I just love how versatile this recipe is!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
based on a recipe from allrecipes.com

Original recipe makes 4 stuffed peppers

1 tablespoon salt
4 large green bell peppers - tops, seeds, and membranes removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup yellow corn
1 (14.5 ounce) can chili-style diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bring a large pot of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil; cook green bell peppers in the boiling water until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion in the hot oil until softened and transparent, 5 to 10 minutes.

Mix quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and cooked onion in a large bowl. Add chili powder, garlic salt, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir until evenly mixed. Fold 1 1/2 cups Mexican cheese and shredded chicken; blend into quinoa mixture.

Spoon quinoa mixture into each bell pepper; arrange peppers in 9x9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle peppers with remaining Mexican cheese blend.

Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Ok, these Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are one hearty, healthy, and totally delicious meal!! They are the perfect combination of ingredients, flavors, and textures. I would even eat the quinoa and chicken filling by itself!! So good. Very filling. Very satisfying. Nom.



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