Healthful, Flavorful, Kitchen Sink Stuffed Peppers by Jill Mant
I’m sure you’ve been where I am now. I’ve just returned from visiting my youngest daughter and my four most precious and delightful grandchildren. It was an action packed five days living in a house with two year old twins, a newly minted five year old and a soon to be nine year old. I arrived Friday, the same day my son-in-law drove up and installed the giant bouncy castle in their back yard for Kylie’s birthday party on Saturday and the kids (and their Dad!) bounced their little hearts out for hours in the raging sun. There were errands to run, football camp to get to, gymnastics classes, baseball practice, birthday parties to attend and all of the activities that engage children and tire their moms during a summer sans school. Not living in the same city as my children or grandchildren, I reveled in every single minute I spent with Jenna and Kade, Jamison, Kylie, Chloe and Caleb.
My flight arrived in Denver at 11p Tuesday and I’m not quite sure what I was thinking, but I had myself scheduled from 830a to 5p Wednesday, with my 12n appointment being located an hour away in Boulder. Additionally, Anshie (SpiceRoots) and I are selling our wares at the Denver Handmade Homemade Market this Saturday, which means that we need to make the goods to sell! This also, obviously, precipitates a few trips to multiple stores for supplies!
As if this were not enough, I do some work (paid!) for an amazing artist and I have to find five hours to get that done before Friday. Realizing that I had to get this post up for Friday morning, I ran and grabbed four multi-colored bell peppers, without thinking about the fact that I had not been to the store since before I left or contemplating what I might do with them.
Oh, I did have the start of an idea! I had visualized some kind of healthy play on lasagna, stuffed inside these beautiful peppers and so I had grabbed a container of ricotta (one of these days I am going to try and make my own) and some of those adorable tiny fresh mozzarella balls.
And so I began dissecting the contents of my fairly well depleted refrigerator and my pantry. What I discovered was a container with about three or four tablespoons of pesto I had made the week before I left for Washington, some broccoli that the Brit was supposed to make with his chicken and potatoes while I was gone, half of a zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shredded parmesan, quinoa, sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, and dried cherries. Do not be afraid to deviate from this “recipe”. In lieu of pesto, you could easily just use fresh basil, pine nuts or slivered almonds, more garlic and salt. Don’t have dried cherries? Don’t use them. If you have a whole zucchini, or maybe even two, throw them in! The point is, fear not, some of your best “recipes” will be a hodgepodge of leftovers and will create a delicious new dish like these Lasagne-esque Stuffed Peppers!
Please check out my fellow bloggers and see what divine, delectable and healthful Bell Pepper recipes they have cooked up. You will find our fearless leader and promoter of all things healthy, Mireya at My Healthy Eating Habits. She and I are joined by the lovely Alyce and her pups at More Time at the Table, my good friend and phenomenal Indian chef Ansh of Spice Roots, our very own resident Mother Teresa, Jeanette of Jeanette’s Healthy Living, weight watcher expert Martha at Simple-Nourished-Living, the very entertaining Sarah from Everything In the Kitchen Sink and the innovative and healthful Casey from Bookcase Foodie. Also, please welcome our newest member Bambi, aka Anabanana, from Down Under. Her blog is adobodownunder and I think you’ll love it. And of course, it goes without saying, that if you would like to join us, it’s never to late! Just reach out to Mireya, or even leave a comment here and I’ll do it for you!
|Lasagne-esque Stuffed Peppers||
- 3/4 cup Quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Olive Oil Spray
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/2 zucchini chopped
- 1/2 cup broccoli florettes, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 3 tablespoons pesto
- 2/3 cup ricotta
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dried cherries, cut in half
- 4 bell peppers, 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 orange
- 16 small, fresh mozzarella balls
- Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, stir, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Spray a medium sized skillet with olive oil and turn flame to medium. Add onion, garlic, zucchini and broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes.
- Turn off flame and add all other ingredients except for the mozzarella balls, mixing well.
- Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds and pith.
- Stuff the peppers with the mixture, pushing in with your fingers to release any air. Pull a couple of the cherry tomatoes to the top. Place 2 mozzarella balls adjacent to the cherry tomatoes on each pepper half.
- Lightly spray baking pans with olive oil and place peppers in them, stuffed side up.
- Bake at 375F for 30-40 minutes.