So the Mr.’s been asking me about making him some stuffed peppers. That’s when it occurred to me that I’ve never made them – kinda strange, huh? I thought I’d made just about every dish out there at some point but the stuffed pepper just hadn’t happened. Of course, I’ve stuffed poblanos and baked them and I’ve stuffed more jalapenos than I can count. But the red bell – or any color bell – with a hearty mixture of goodies and served as a dinner entree has never made my menu.
Of course, he was looking for the traditional ground beef stuffed bell pepper and I do plan on making a twist on those soon, if only because I loved these so much (and I know he’s got a craving and it’s just cruel to deny someone their food cravings ;) But, as you know, I’ve been on a bit of a quinoa kick lately and just haven’t been able to help myself! Quinoa Granola, Mexican Quinoa Casserole & Blackened Shrimp Bowls with Salsa Ranch Quinoa – you name it, I’ve been making it! I just had to make one more quinoa dish and this time I wanted it to be lighter in flavor and stray from my usual spicy mexican-type flavors.
These quinoa stuffed peppers have quinoa that’s flavored with fresh lemon for a light spring taste. Spring asparagus is added along with quartered heirloom cherry tomatoes. I stuffed the peppers halfway with that mixture, added goat cheese then topped them with more of the quinoa mixture – makes for a nice goat cheese surprise in the middle! Lemon and goat cheese pair so well and I like a bit of indulgence in the middle of my healthy eating. Then again, I could eat goat cheese by the log!
The quinoa stuffed peppers would make a great light lunch or healthy dinner. They’re perfect for Mother’s Day or any other spring day!
This recipe makes a great light lunch or healthy side dish. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- 4 red bell peppers (any color will do, or a mix)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 5-ounce log goat cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Slice bell peppers in half, remove stem, seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, cut side down, onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast peppers for 15-20 minutes until just starting to char and soften. Remove from oven, flip pepper halves over and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place quinoa in a dry saucepan over medium heat. Toast quinoa, stirring or shaking pan often, about 8-10 minutes or until just turning a light brown. Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook quinoa for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
- Mix together garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive oil and black pepper, whisk until combined.
- Place quinoa, cherry tomatoes and asparagus in a medium-sized bowl. Add dressing and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.
- Fill pepper halves with quinoa mixture. Divide goat cheese into 8 portions and crumble over the top.
- Place stuffed peppers back in oven for 5 minutes until asparagus is crisp-tender and tomatoes and goat cheese are softened.
- Can serve immediately or at room temperature.