Tuesday, January 20, 2015

main meal: stuffed peppers

It's a new year, and while I am not all about resolutions, I am focused on newness. I've been looking through the schedule of classes at my gym and decided to try a new class. I'd considered signing up for personal training but thought maybe some of the more intense classes might be just as good. You need activity as the first step to seeing any progress, after all. So I went to the HIIT class - somewhat nervous of how it would go - and it was good! I knew I would most likely be starving afterward, so I wanted a dinner that was going to fill me up, both with satisfaction and nourishment. I've never made stuffed peppers before. In fact, I've never even eaten stuffed peppers before. I had everything I needed to make them, so I gave it a shot. They were great! I'm really glad I tried a new meal, and I think it's a new favorite (see what I did there?).


what you need:

up to 6 bell peppers (the more colorful, the better)
1/2 cup quinoa
2-4 boneless skinless chicken breast strips
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water or broth (vegetable or chicken)
2-3 large carrots
2-3 stalks of celery
1/2 cup corn (canned or frozen)

what you do:
-prepare quinoa (two parts liquid, one part quinoa) by adding liquid and quinoa to a small pot, bring to boil, cover and lower to simmer until water or broth is completely absorbed
-cut chicken into small pieces and cook through in olive oil in large pan
-prepare vegetables by washing and chopping carrots and celery
-slice around tops of bell peppers, twist and pull out (hopefully with seeds); slice out spongy flesh inside pepper and rinse out any remaining seeds
-after quinoa and chicken have cooked, mix in a large bowl with carrots, celery and corn; add cheese if desired
-fill the peppers with the mixture and mound just above top of pepper; stand upright in a baking dish and sprinkle with cheese
-bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes

Stuffed peppers are a great and easy meal with so many options for the "gut" mixtures - quinoa and veggies, rice and veggies, taco stuffing, chili - so many! While the stuffing makes enough for 6 peppers, I made 3 and froze the rest. It freezes and thaws great! Just take it out of the freezer the night before or early in the morning before making your peppers. I only topped my peppers with cheese, so I don't know how well the stuffing will freeze and thaw with cheese added.

stuffed bell pepper with tostones