I know the classic preparation for stuffed peppers typically includes ground beef, but the protein-packed, heartiness from fiber-laden rosemary and olive oil quinoa, black beans and corn really do the trick. There's a hint of creaminess from soft garlic and herb cheese, slight acidity from stewed tomatoes, and a punch of heat from a blanket of pepper jack melted over top.
The vibrant red and yellow peppers are not only eye-appealing, but also a perfect vessel for this savory filling. The peppers take on a slight sweetness when roasted in the oven, balancing out the garlicky sauteed spinach and flavorful, textural components running evenly throughout.
I created this for our friends and served it with my fresh kale salad recipe. I am pleased to report that the meal received very positive reviews. Even from Hubby. And Hubby really loves his meat dishes. That's how I really knew it was good.
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
1 box quinoa blend with rosemary and olive oil
4 slices reduced fat pepper jack cheese
2 wedges garlic and herb Laughing Cow cheese
1 (15 oz.) can fresh cut whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 oz.) bag frozen spinach, defrosted
1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Olive oil (for quinoa)
Nonstick cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut peppers in half and remove white flesh and seeds. Boil quinoa according to directions. In a large pan, saute garlic with a few sprays of cooking oil. Add spinach. Pour in stewed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in quinoa, beans and corn. Add cheese wedges and mix until they melt completely. Fill peppers with quinoa mixture. Top each pepper with half a piece of pepper jack cheese. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Cheese will be melted and peppers will be tender. Eat and enjoy a meatless version of this classic dish!
Jenn Press Arata is a food writer and blogger. Visit her blog at thatssojenn.com. She also can be followed on Twitter, @thatssojennblog.