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Quinoa and Veggie Stuffed Bell Peppers

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While slightly more labor intensive than most of the things I post here (and by “slightly” I mean consisting of something other than rummaging through my fridge, throwing things into a bowl, calling it dinner and devouring), these were really yummy and really healthy: veggie, beans, quinoa and a tiny bit of “good for you in moderate amounts” olive oil. They’re quite adaptable so you don’t have to stick to this recipe exactly to come out with awesome looking and tasting peppers.

Quinoa and Veggie Stuffed Red Peppers: Serves 4

What You Need:

1/2 cup of onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup of celery, finely chopped

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 clove of garlic

1/2 a package of frozen spinach – thawed and squeezed dry

1 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved

1/2 of a  15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/3-1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa

1 cup water

3/4 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms (or any mushrooms)

salt and pepper

1 tsp red chili pepper flakes

2 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, white stuff inside scooped out

2-3 tbsps of chopped cilantro (or how ever much you like….you can’t ever go wrong with too much cilantro.)

What You Do:

Peheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and celery, and cook for about 5 minutes making sure to stir is often as you don’t want the onions burning.  Add cumin, garlic – cook for one minute. Add tomatoes, spinach, and cook for another 5 minutes, again, making sure to stir!

Add black beans, carrots, quinoa, water, mushrooms. Add spices to taste- salt, pepper, chili pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium/low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Pour reserved liquid from tomato can into the bottom of a baking dish. Place the four red peppers in, side by side. Scoop out the cooked quinoa/veggie mixture into each red pepper. Pile it on high! They should be overflowing. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 30 minutes (if you’re lazy like me) or an hour (if you’re stomach isn’t about to eat itself.)

Top with cilantro and optional nutritional yeast.

Enjoy!

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