Vegetables taste fine on their own. Crunchy. Juicy. Sure…fine. But when vegetables are stuffed with lots of goodies, they taste a liiiittle better. No? I’ll eat them either way. Let’s just say I wouldn’t eat just a red pepper for dinner but I would eat a stuffed red pepper! I only require it to be flavorful and filling. And full of cheese.
A lot of stuffed peppers use turkey or some other meat for the stuffing. I was debating between cous cous or quinoa, but went with quinoa because I like the texture better. Don’t be afraid of quinoa! Even if my very wise brother-in-law claims “quinoa has negative flavor” and “it’s like adding styrofoam to soak up any remnants of good flavor,” I encourage you to give it a shot! It’s all about how you cook it. I would never tell you to eat a bowl of plain quinoa cooked in water. Negative.
Once I realized how easy these peppers were to make, I decided it would make the perfect meal on a busy weeknight. You can even make them ahead of time and refrigerate them until you are ready to bake.
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
4 red or green bell peppers, tops cut off with inside gutted and seeds removed
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil vegetable broth and cook quinoa as directed.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the tomato paste and mix everything together. Cook for 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Bring the mix to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. The sauce should not be as runny anymore. Fold in the cooked quinoa and mix well. Stir in feta cheese. Fill peppers with quinoa mixture—pack them in tight!
Place the four peppers in a baking dish. Cover the peppers with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, until peppers are tender. Sprinkle additional feta on top.