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Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa

Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa

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Stuffed Peppers with QuinoaStuffed Peppers with Quinoa    Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa    Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa    Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa    Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa    Poultry, Healthy


Active Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes

ingredients

  • 6 red, yellow or orange peppers
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

directions

Fill a large sauce or soup pot with water so that it will cover the peppers (about 4 cups) and cook over high heat. You might have to do the peppers in 2 batches. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds and spines. If a pepper doesn't stand up on its own, cut off the rounded portions on the bottom so that they are flat, but be careful not to cut a hole in the bottom of the pepper.

When the water boils, add the peppers. Cook the peppers until they begin to soften and become flexible, about 5 minutes. Note that red peppers will soften the fastest, then orange peppers, then yellow peppers, so check each pepper individually and remove with tongs when ready. Be very careful to dump out all of the hot water before you remove the pepper from the pot.

At this point, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Save 2 cups of the pepper water and discard the rest. Bring the pepper water back to a boil, add 1 cup of quinoa. Bring the mixture back to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove the pot from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork and let stand for 15 minutes. Makes about 4 cups.

While the quinoa is cooking, add the olive oil to a non-stick pan and heat until warm. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the turkey and break up chunks into small pieces with a plastic spatula. Cook over medium heat until the turkey is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.

Combine the turkey mixture with the quinoa. Add 1 cup of cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to the turkey/quinoa mixture and combine. Dice the tomatoes and add to the turkey mixture.

Arrange the peppers cut side up on a glass baking dish. Fill the peppers with the turkey/quinoa mixture until the mixture forms a rounded top on the peppers. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is browned, about 30 minutes.

Notes

Unless you have 6 large peppers, this will make extra turkey/quinoa mixture. It makes a great salad, so you can keep it in the fridge as a snack, or take it for lunch at work.

You can't just halve the quinoa amounts - so check your quinoa package. For example, 1 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of quinoa does not work (not enough water) - trust me.

If you can't find shredded monterey jack cheese, you can substitute mozzarella or another mild cheese.

You can substitute beef or other ground meat for the turkey if you prefer. You can also make this vegetarian, but consider adding black beans, corn and/or mushrooms to add some protein and texture.

We like to use two red, two orange and two yellow peppers to have some color contrast.

You can make the turkey/quinoa mixture and stuff the peppers (without the ketchup mixture or cheese on top) up to 24 hours before you want to serve them. Wrap the stuffed peppers tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove the peppers from the refrigerator about an hour before you want to cook them. Follow the instructions in the last paragraph of the directions above.

Once the peppers are cooked, they reheat well in the microwave.

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recipe type

Main Courses

yield

6

difficulty

2222

tips

Choosing an Olive Oil
If a recipe calls for olive oil, you may substitute extra virgin olive oil; but if it calls for extra virgin olive oil, we do not suggest substituting any other type of olive oil.

Storing tomatoesStoring tomatoes
Never store a tomato in the refrigerator. If you slice a tomato and don't use all of it, place the tomato upside down on a plate. Store the plate on the counter for up to 1 day.

Peeling a tomatoPeeling a tomato
To peel a tomato, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut an "X" in the bottom of the tomato, and place it in the boiling water for 30-60 seconds. If the tomato is not really ripe, it may take longer-- watch for the skin around the X to start to come loose. Place the tomato in a bowl of ice water, leave for about a minute, then remove. The skin should peel right off. If you only have a few tomatoes to peel, it's probably easier to simply use a vegetable peeler.

De-seeding a tomatoDe-seeding a tomato
To de-seed a tomato, cut it in half crosswise (lengthwise if you are using a plum tomato.) Holding the tomato over the sink or the garbage, scoop out the seeds in each of the cavities with your little finger.

Kosher v. table salt
We always use kosher salt in our cooking because its crystals dissolve better in water than ordinary table salt. However, kosher and table salt are not equivalent when you are measuring amounts for a recipe. To further confuse matters, different types of kosher salt measure differently. If a recipe calls for table salt (or just salt), and the amounts are relatively small (e.g., one teaspoon), we simply use the amount called for in the recipe. You can always add a bit more salt to taste. If however, the recipe calls for larger amounts of salt, as would be the case, for example, in a brine, then you should convert the amount called for. Most sources cite 2 types of kosher salt as being widely available: Morton (which is what we use) and Diamond Crystal (which none of us have ever been able to find.) In any case, to convert the amount of table salt to Morton Kosher Salt, multiply the table salt by 1.5; to convert to Diamond Crystal, multiply by 2.

Just another example of why algebra really is im