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Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Posted Feb 28 2013 1:27pm
I have to warn you of something. This is hands-down my favourite thing I've ever made in my entire life. I seriously thought of emailing a serving of this over to Gordon Ramsay so he could eat' em and weep, but then I encountered some technical difficulties - emailing a bell pepper is tougher than you might think. 

The inspiration for these came from a photo that the lovely Michelle, one of my favourite bloggers over at Push.Pump.Progress (check out her blog, she posts the yummiest paleo recipes, I always visit her site when I'm looking for a little inspiration in the kitchen!). She hadn't posted her recipe yesterday when I was making supper (she just taunted me with the most amazing looking picture - so rude!) so I decided to improvise. She has since posted her recipe - I will be trying out her take on these stuffed peppers soon!!

Here is the recipe I put together yesterday:

Run It My Way Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers 
- These delicious stuffed peppers can be made vegetarian or carnivore and are full of protein and nutrients!

- 5 bell peppers (whole)
- 1 cup of chicken breast,cooked and cubed, or ground turkey (optional!)
- 1/2 a large tomato (or a full small one), diced
- 1/2 a red pepper and 1/2 a yellow pepper, diced
- 1/4 a red onion, finely diced
- 1 portobello mushroom, diced (you can also use sliced white mushrooms)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of quinoa - when cooked this yielded a little over a cup
- goat cheese
- balsamic vinegar
- small amount of shredded cheese (to sprinkle on the top of the stuffed peppers) - optional
- 1/2 tsp paprika 
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- hummus (sundried tomato hummus is fabulous!)

1. Preheat oven to 350*F; boil water for quinoa and allow it to cook per instructions while chopping vegetables. Make sure the veggies are cut into small pieces; 

2. If you choose to add meat (chicken breast or ground turkey or chicken would work nicely!), saute it in a small amount of olive or coconut oil. Once cooked, add chopped veggies and garlic and saute over medium heat with a generous splash of balsamic vinegar; 

3. Once your veggie mixture is cooked and all meat is cooked thoroughly (if you're using meat), combine with cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl. Add an additional 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar, about 1/2 tsp of paprika, salt and pepper and chopped goat cheese

4. Wash your bell peppers thoroughly and cut a circle around the top stem, scraping the seeds and white part out with a spoon. Be careful not to break the peppers!

5. Spoon your veggie and quinoa mixture into each pepper until it is full, packing it in gently. Place each stuffed pepper on a lined baking sheet ** I cooked chicken separately (a half cup of  chopped chicken breast) and added it to the veggie and quinoa mixture separately after I had spooned the veggie/ quinoa mixture into two peppers for me so that Ryan could have meaty stuffed peppers**

6. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes at 350*F. When the skin on the peppers wrinkles and softens, they are done. Mine took 30 minutes;

7. Add a sprinkle of cheese (optional) and place on the middle oven rack for 5 additional minutes, switch oven to medium 'broil' for the last 2-3 minutes. Finally, add a generous spoonful of hummus (I loved the sundried tomato hummus for these!) 


Do you like to cook?
- I love love love to cook. If I had it my way, I would cook big fancy elaborate meals every evening! I try to cook homemade most nights, though it can be pretty challenging since I work long hours and volunteer a lot, on top of blogging and running. But I really believe that the food we put in our bodies is the key to health, so I am trying to cook more with whole unprocessed foods!

Are you a cook with a recipe person or do you prefer to make up your recipes as you go?
- I love to make up what I'm cooking as I go. Add a splash of this and a dash of that.. I rarely follow a recipe to cook anything! This makes for a good cook and a bad baker ;-)

Where do you find inspiration for new meals?
- I love reading blogs for inspiration (some of my favourites are Oh She Glows , The Athletarian , Push Pump Progress and the Colourful Palate ). I also love leafing through cookbooks - my current inspiration has been Tosca Reno's The Eat Clean Vegetarian Cookbook - I won a copy from the Athletarian a few months ago and I am so in love with it! I've bought several as gifts for other foodies.

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