finish off healthy

i indulged on saturday - what are weekends for though? after a pub lunch with a couple of beers, followed by a great evening meal with my aunt and uncle who are in town for a few days (and several glasses of gorgeous pinot noir), i wanted to get back on a healthy track today. there's a newsagent near my gym that sells lots of american magazines, including shape. once a month, i'll go in and pick up a copy to read while i'm on the elliptical or the treadmill, and a couple of months ago i found this recipe for stuffed peppers. it looked pretty tasty and sounded easy enough, so i picked up a couple of bell peppers at the farmer's market (one red, one yellow), made a couple of changes, and voila!

phil had some melted mozzarella cheese on his, while mine was topped with some fancy goat's cheese i happened to pick up at the market yesterday as well. the cheese man called it "goat's camembert" to give me an idea of the flavour. he was correct.

quinoa-stuffed bell peppers

enough for two with some of the filling left over for lunch!


the particulars:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 red chili, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder
  • grated mozzarella or goat's cheese
  1. preheat oven to 350F/gas 4. cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes in simmering water. set aside once cooked.
  2. remove the pepper tops, stems, and seeds. bring a large pot of water to the boil. add the peppers, boil for 5 minutes, and drain. place in a baking dish.
  3. heat oil in a pan and fry the onion, carrots, and chili for 5-7 minutes until softened. stir in the spinach and beans. remove from heat and mix in the quinoa and chili powder.
  4. fill the peppers with the quinoa mixture and sprinkle with cheese. add a thin layer of water to the bottom of the baking dish. bake for 20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. serve immediately with salad.

lesson learned: there wasn't a lot of flavour to the quinoa mixture -- perhaps more chili and a chopped clove of garlic would make it a bit more exciting. other than that, this is a great meal, and boiling the peppers first makes them wonderfully soft and sweet.