I’ve been a little delinquent lately in terms of bringing my own food to work. Instead of bringing my own coffee like I used to, I’ve been throwing away lots of bucks at Starbucks daily. Instead of packing my lunch I’ve been eating out, which sacrifices both dollars and nutrition most of the times. So, I wanted to make something on my day off that would supply me with plenty of leftovers to bring to work for filling lunches. So, I came up with these Southwestern Stuffed Peppers, filled with ground turkey, quinoa, black beans, corn, and plenty of spices.
There are 3 main steps to making these. Cook the grain (in this case, quinoa) saute the veggies, turkey, and spices, and then cook and fill the peppers. Although it might take you about an hour to make these, it will provide you with tons of hearty, healthy meals.
Nutritional Highlights: This is one of those meals that basically has every food group covered in one little pepper so it’s a balanced and complete meal. You can also leave out the turkey if you want them to be vegetarian, and leave off the cheese if you want to keep um vegan (although cheeseless stuffed peppers would be sad). Using a pepper as a vehicle for all these healthy fillings isn’t just for fun…the pepper itself is a nutrient powerhouse, packed with Vitamin C, A, and antioxidants.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. lean ground chicken or turkey
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 14.5 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you like it hot!)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 4-5 bell peppers
- 1 1/2 cups low fat mexican blend or pepperjack cheese (or any other cheese that you prefer)
- Salsa for serving
- Start by getting the quinoa cooking. In a saucepan, add the quinoa, broth, and spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and simmer covered for about 12 -15 minutes.
- While quinoa is simmering, work on the meat. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or saute pan and saute the minced onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute or so over medium heat. Add in the ground turkey, then the spices. Cook for 8 minutes or so over medium heat, until cooked through (don’t over cook – it will continue cooking after being removed from the pot as well as when it is added to the rice). Add the diced tomatoes, black beans, and corn and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350. While the meat simmers, you can prepare your bell peppers. Wash them and cut them in half. Remove the seeds and rinse them out. Spray a baking sheet or any large pan with cooking spray, and cook peppers cut side up for 15 minutes, until just barely tender. Remove and set aside until ready to use.
- When the meat and quinoa are ready combine them in the large pot. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Stuff the bell peppers with the chicken and quinoa mixture. Top with enough grated cheese to cover the peppers. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or so, until the cheese is bubbling. Serve with your favorite salsa and enjoy!