Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

While traditionally green peppers are the most popular pepper to stuff, I prefer to stuff the red and yellow varieties. They're much sweeter and don't have a bitter aftertaste that is sometimes found with cooked green peppers. I had some quinoa in my pantry that wasn't getting any younger and some Italian sausage that had been in the freezer for awhile so I decided to combine the two and make a stuffing for my red peppers. Quinoa is one of the world's "super foods." It is a complete protein and is a great source of fiber. Now I know I'm negating some of its healthy greatness by combining it with the fatty sausage, but hey, it's still healthier than if I'd used regular old white rice.

Stuffed Peppers

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken broth

Place the quinoa and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all liquid is absorbed (10-15 minutes) Set aside

3 Red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
1 pound Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup frozen, chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (in olive oil) finely chopped
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
one jar marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and veins. Place in a shallow baking dish just big enough to hold them.

In a large skillet brown sausage, onions and garlic. Drain. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes, cheeses, and cooked quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fill peppers with stuffing and pour half of the marinara sauce over them.

Place in preheated over and bake until peppers are tender, about 45-60 minutes. Baste with the other half of the sauce about halfway through cooking.

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