Smokey Stuffed Peppers

Lately, it seems that all we eat are bell peppers.  If I had to guess, I would say our Party of Two eats at least three or four of them a week.  Thus, I’m always thrilled when I can snag a great sale on them.

This week, I got a good deal on red bell peppers (AKA the best of the bell peppers), which inspired this dish: my smokey stuffed peppers.  These are low-calorie but packed with flavor, and are completely versatile.  I used ingredients I had on hand to enrich the stuffing, but you could use anything you wanted!

Smokey Stuffed Bell Pepper

Cardigan-Clad Culinary’s Smokey Stuffed Peppers

Serves: 2 {easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled…}

Ingredients

  • 2 beautiful medium bell peppers that balance when set on their bottoms
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • Smokey seasoning blend — I highly recommend Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup lite shredded cheese, divided in half

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse quinoa thoroughly (please, for the love of your digestive happiness, don’t skip this step).  Combine with one cup of water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer until the water is absorbed.
  3. While you’re waiting for your quinoa to cook, prepare your peppers.  Carefully cut off the tops of your bell peppers leaving a “lip” to hold in the stuffing, then pierce the peppers in the bottom so that juice can escape during the baking process.  Place them in a loaf pan so that they stand up.
  4. When quinoa has absorbed almost all of the water, add onions and garlic to pot and stir before replacing the lid.  Cook 5 minutes over low heat.
  5. Add spinach, smoke seasoning, salt, and pepper to the quinoa.  Allow to cook until spinach wilts — about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir half of your cheese into the quinoa mixture, and spoon into bell peppers.  Top filled peppers with the rest of the cheese.
  7. Bake for at least 15 minutes, or until bell peppers are soft enough for your liking.  Allow to cool for ten minutes, then serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 256 | Fat: 5.3 g | Carbohydrates: 41 g | Fiber: 6.4 g | Protein: 12.4 g

What variations could you see yourself using for the filling in this dish?  Share your ideas in the comments!

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