February 27, 2012

Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers

I have always been in love with bell peppers. Slightly sweet and with just enough crunch, they are the perfect snack for me! They are fantastic compliments to pasta, wraps, sandwiches... pretty much everything savory in my opinion! However, I decided I should take them to the next level and make them into a main dish in themselves!

By stuffing these juicy, bright peppers with fluffy quinoa and spicy sausage, a normal vegetable is transformed into a delectable entree. Smooth ricotta, salty feta, and bold pops of flavor from fire roasted tomatoes create a well-balanced and satisfying dish that is sure to please the whole family! As my father said, it "tasted light, yet was incredibly satisfying." He was surprised that a pepper filled him up, but these peppers are packed full of flavor and definitely are filling.

Healthy, hearty, and just altogether a great meal, bring this bright recipe to your table tonight!

Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers
Serves 4          Serving Size: 1 stuffed pepper          Calories/Serving: 273

Ingredients:
  • 4 medium Bell Peppers, any color, preferably ones that can stand up on their own
  • 1c chopped yellow onion (about 1 small)
  • 2 (3.9-oz each) hot Italian Turkey sausages (such as Jennie-O's), removed from the casings
  • 2c. cooked Quinoa*
  • 1 and 1/4c fire roasted tomatoes (in the can- with juice)
  • 1/8tsp black pepper
  • 1/8tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4c. low-fat ricotta
  • 1/4c. plus 2tbl crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
*To cook the Quinoa, combine 2/3c. raw Quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring to a broil, and simmer with the lid on for about 10-15 minutes (until Quinoa has absorbed all the water and is light and fluffy).
 
Instructions:
  1. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove all the seeds and white lining. 
  2. In a large pot, heat water until broiling. Place the peppers in the broiling water, and cook for 4-5 minutes. This step is optional, but I like how it makes the peppers less hard to cut through in the end.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  4. In a medium-sized pan coated with cooking spray, cook the chopped onion for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat or until starting to become tender. Add in the turkey sausage, and break into pieces as it cooks. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until the turkey is browned and almost-cooked, about 5-8 minutes. 
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add the quinoa, spices, and tomatoes. Mix together very well. Add the 1/4c. ricotta and 1/4c. of the feta; stir until they have slightly melted into the mixture. 
  6. Place the bell peppers in a baking dish with edges.
  7. Place about 1c. of the mixture into each bell pepper (you may have to pack it in-- I did for mine!). Sprinkle each pepper with 1/2tbl feta cheese. Cook the peppers in the oven for 30 minutes.
  8. To serve, place each pepper into a bowl and devour! (I like the bowl because when you cut the pepper open, you don't risk losing any of that delicious filling! Yum!)
This can easily make 8 side dish servings. Simply cut the peppers in half lengthwise before baking and stuffing, and stuff each half with 1/2c. mixture. Calories/pepper half would be about 138.

5 comments:

  1. This looks amazing and am set to try this tonight for dinner? Do you think I can substitute couscous for the quinoa?

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  2. i just made these and ended up using the quinoa since i'm not familiar with the difference between couscous and quinoa. these were amazing!!!!! we will be making this again! thank you for sharing your recipe :)

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    Replies
    1. Glad it worked out for you! Couscous would definitely be a great alternative to the quinoa; I just like using quinoa because I enjoy the flavor more. So glad you enjoyed them!!

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    2. I made this tonight...we all loved it! This was the first time I used quinoa..and it was a hit. I didn't have any ricotta and don't care for feta so I used low fat cottage cheese and Laughing Cow French Onion cheese. Will definitely make these again.
      Judy

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    3. It is such an amazing ingredient!! I never thought of cottage cheese, but it makes so much sense! I'll definitely have to try it that way, it sounds delicious :) I'm so happy you liked it!

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Every comment makes me smile! :)

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