2.20.2014

{Quinoa} Stuffed Peppers

Growing up I didn't get to spend much time with extended family but when we did get together, I have so many happy memories centered around the meals. Mealtime became a little bit more special when Aunties, Uncles, Grandma, or Grandpa were in town....or we were in their town. One meal that brings a smile to my face and warm memories is stuffed peppers. Yes, my mom would make these just for our family but the memories are still there. I can still see the pan that she used and can smell the yummy aroma. I LOVED THEM! Okay, not really but I did. I am only saying not really because the pepper part...yuck! The other part...YUM! In fact, stuffed peppers always contained porcupine balls for the kids! Just don't ask me how my mom and Grandma got those balls to form and stay so darn cute. Me? I can't do that. I have given up. But now that I have grown up, I love the pepper part too!

I have also completely altered the recipe. I made this once a couple of weeks ago, my version, and darling daughter loved it. In fact, she wanted more of the pepper! That girl can charm me like crazy. "Mother, can I have more pepper? I like it!" "Oh yes you can! Here, have some of mine!"

So let's get cooking!

First, I must confess, my batch is much smaller than anything my mom would make mainly because I am cooking for a family of 3, not 5 or more. If you have a bigger family, please double, triple, quadruple!

The Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground turkey (I am sure my mom would have used beef)
  • 1/2 cup pureed carrot (yep, I am sure this wasn't in it)
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin* (ditto...no pureed veggies when I was a kid)
  • 4 large bell peppers (I opt for the red, orange, and yellow peppers since those are the ones darling daughter eats, my mom used green)
  • Salt to taste (optional)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 4-5 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 small can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbl flax seed (optional)
  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa (my mom used rice)
* Please note: You can substitute other purees. Broccoli would work nicely as well as sweet potato or cauliflower.

The Steps:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Lightly grease the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cup of water and the 3/4 cup dry quinoa to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Take the saucepan off of the heat and just let it sit. I tend to do this step early on.
  3. Cut the tops off of the peppers, de-seed, and boil for 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Take the peppers out, drain any water out of them, and set to the side. Again, I tend to do this at the same time as the quinoa as I like to have these steps out of the way when I enter step 4.
  4. Brown the ground turkey with the two purees. I use really lean turkey and have no need to drain excess fat. If yours isn't as lean, drain before adding in the purees. You don't want to lose that veggie yumminess and all those good nutrients.  
  5. Season your meat mix with a dash of salt if desired (I only use Hawaiian Sea Salt and very little), black pepper, flax seed if desired, and 4-5 tsp of Italian seasonings. Sorry, I just dump some in the palm of my hand and add. 
  6. Add one can of undrained diced tomatoes and the quinoa. Mix well.
  7. Arrange the four peppers into your baking dish. Using a spoon, fill up each pepper and stuff down nicely. All the remaining mix, just place in baking dish around the stuffed peppers.
  8. Cover with foil. Bake covered for 20 minutes, uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.
For dear hubby and darling daughter, I sprinkled some shredded cheese on top when I served them their dinner. Darling daughter even got a little dollop of sour cream. You could always opt for dairy free cheese if you are so inclined. In my earlier years of making this, aka before being dairy free, I would sprinkle with cheese after removing the foil so the cheese would get really nice and melty during those final 10 minutes of baking. These make great leftovers as well!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I have completed my taxes for this year!
Daily Affirmation: I can make yummy and nutritious meals!

4 comments:

  1. I haven't seen stuffed peppers in years. That made me feel quite nostalgic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. yum im gonna try these this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we made these yesterday.... SO DELICIOUS!! im an idiot and cant follow directions well so i cut the peppers in half, but it still worked out great. i added a little parm cheese in with the mix and topped them with some cheddar. mmmmm cheese. thanks for the recipe!

      Delete
    2. Glad you liked them! Cheese does make things taste yummy! Too bad it makes my tummy feel awful. :)

      Delete

Let's chat!