Sherry-Spiked Peppers

Sherry-Spiked Peppers

Another stuffed pepper recipe.  I know.  But these are completely different from my Smokey Stuffed Peppers.

First of all, booze.  I added that to these.  Sure, the alcohol “cooks off” — well, not really — but that flavor sticks around.  This is what happens when you leave me alone in the kitchen with a bottle of sherry.

Second, Neufchatel for some creamy goodness.  I was just going to add some of the five-pound-block-of-cheddar, but then I discovered half a block of Neufchatel waiting to be eaten in my refrigerator.  Is there anything that doesn’t taste better with Neufchatel in it?

The real surprise here?  These stuffed peppers are kind to your waistline.  You can fill 3-4 medium peppers with this recipe, and it’s a tremendoulsy filling entree under 350 calories.  They get a decent dose of protein from the quinoa and Neufchatel, so a simple side salad can finish off your plate.

Enjoy your Meatless Monday and/or Lenten Friday with these.  You’ll thank me for it.

Sherry-Spiked Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa (mine is tri-colored)
  • 2 small yellow onions, sliced into half-moons
  • 5 oz. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1.5 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 4 oz. Neufchatel cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup basil, chopped

Sherry-Spiked Peppers

 

Sherry-Spiked Peppers

 

Sherry-Spiked Peppers

 

Sherry-Spiked Peppers

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook your quinoa according to your package’s directions.  You can use broth here, but I just used water since I was getting a lot of flavor from the sherry in the vegetables.
  3. While your quinoa cooks, heat your pan over medium.  You can add some olive oil — I used a spritz from my Misto.  When it’s heated up, add your onions and mushrooms.  Cook just until your onions are translucent.
  4. Add the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes, until it begins to wilt.  Add the sherry, and stir until it has cooked down and things have a nice caramel-y color.
  5. Turn the heat down to low and move the vegetables to the edges of the pan.  Place the Neufchatel in the center, and allow it to melt down.  Once it gets really melty, push the hot vegetables into it, and begin to incorporate it all.
  6. When the quinoa has finished cooking, pour it into the vegetable/Neufchatel pan.  Add the basil.  Stir it all until it is combined.
  7. Prepare your peppers: cut off the stems leaving a large hole on the top, prick the bottoms with your knife to allow water to escape during the cooking process, and pull off any white flesh/seeds inside.  Rinse the peppers out and set them upright in a pan.  I used loaf pans.
  8. Load the peppers with your quinoa/vegetable/Neufchatel filling.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pepper is soft enough for you.  Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Nutrition*

Calories: 343 | Fat: 10 g | Carbs: 48 g | Fiber: 7 g | Protein: 10

*This is a very flexible recipe.  You could easily swap in more vegetables, use less sherry, or substitute in fat free cream cheese (though I don’t recommend it).  Your nutrition figures are always based 100% on the ingredients you use and your cooking process.

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