Mix Up Your Healthy Menus with Quinoa

The health benefits of the superfood quinoa make this grain-like seed a no brainer for adding it to your menus. It’s a good substitution for white rice and pasta and a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

Sweet Peppers with Quinoa Stuffing

Serves 6

Ingredients

¼ cup water
1 (14 ½ ounce) can vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 medium red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, veins and seeds discarded
2 medium orange bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, veins and seeds discarded
2 medium yellow bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, veins and seeds discarded
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons shelled sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried marjoram
Dash of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

Place the water, broth, and bay leaf in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Add quinoa to the saucepan, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Discard the bay leaf.

While the quinoa is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the peppers into the boiling water and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Drain peppers; rinse under cold water. Set the peppers, cut sides down, on a paper towel to finish draining.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet that is set over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots to the skillet and sauté until tender. Add the quinoa, sunflower seeds, parsley, basil, oregano, paprika, thyme, marjoram, cayenne pepper, and salt to the skillet; cook and stir until heated through. Set the bell peppers, cut sides up, on a baking sheet that is coated with cooking spray. Spoon the quinoa mixture evenly into bell pepper halves. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until the peppers are tender.