Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Peppers

In my last post I mentioned that I have no motivation to cook. That feeling continues, but I had a rare new recipe adventure thanks to the participants in my Diabetes class. We were discussing alternatives for whole grains, and I mentioned quinoa to them. None of them had heard or tried it before! I find that people are able to make effective changes after a little practice (or taste-testing), thus, I made them a healthy quinoa dish to try in class tonight. 🙂 They better love it!

So here is a delicious, diabetes-friendly, easily turned vegetarian, healthy dish! Enjoy!

Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Peppers (adapted from Robert Irvine’s stuffed pepper recipe on Food Network)

Makes 12 peppers

Ingredients

12 green bell peppers, tops removed and seeded DSC_0383

1 pound lean ground turkey (leave out to make vegetarian)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (or 2 cloves chopped)
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 (14-ounce can) tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1 cup diced red pepper
1 tsp. saltDSC_0384

½ tsp. pepper

1.5 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tbl. grated Parmesan, to finish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the quinoa according to the package

While the quinoa is cooking, wrap the peppers in aluminum foil, and bake in the oven until tender, but not falling apart, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the turkey. After turkey is browned, drain. Add meat back to pan and add oil. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic to the pan and saute until the mushrooms are golden DSC_0386brown. Add in the zucchini, yellow squash, quinoa, tomatoes, and red pepper and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the tomato paste. Remove from the heat. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the cooled peppers. Transfer the peppers to a heat-proof serving dish and top each with 1 tsp. Parmesan. Bake until the peppers are heated through, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve.

**Cook’s Note: This can be served on a bed of fresh tomato sauce or on its own. Also, I kept this very plain for my class, but I recommend red chili flakes, hot sauce, etc for an extra kick!! Or mix in some salsa in the filling!

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