Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Did you have a great weekend? Hope you brought some love to some mommas in your life! My mother's day involved a lot of phone time (WAY less cool than inperson time!) and a lot of eating of this. Even though I would have loved to be with my mom, at least I had cake to ease my sorrows! :)
So, this Monday morning, in an effort to de-sugar myself, I'll be having these peppers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ok, Ok, a little extreme - but they are so good I think I could actually do it! :)
I love red bell peppers. I love quinoa. I think ground turkey is OK. Is the "one of these things is not like the other" song from Sesame Street playing in your head too?? Even though I don't love ground turkey, I use it a lot. Why? It is much healthier than ground beef or pork and it is very versatile. But the secret to using ground turkey is that you have to impart TONS of flavor into it because it has almost none on it's own. But don't worry, I'm up to the challenge!
We start on our flavor mission by sautéing carrots and onions. But instead of just sweating them, we are going to cook them down for a long time over med-low heat until they caramelize. After about 20 minutes, it's time to add lots of garlic - 5-6 cloves lots - and cook down for a minute or two. Now things really start to get going. Because you caramelized the veggies there should be lots of brown bits starting to stick to the bottom of your pan. We want all that flavor in our peppers, so we need to deglaze the pan. What's better to deglaze with than wine??? 1 cup of red into the pot. Stir to pull up all those delicious bits of flavor.
After the wine is reduced by about half, add in the ground turkey and seasonings. Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, fresh thyme, and fresh oregano. Cook until the turkey is no longer pink and then add the quinoa.
Give it a good stir. Remove from heat and get to prepping your peppers. Try to say that three times fast!
Just chop the tops off of 4 red bell peppers and use your hands to pull out the insides. Save the tops for pretty presentation of chop off the edible parts to munch on later.
Rub the outside of the peppers with olive oil . Stuff the mixture into the peppers. You can pack it in a bit because as the peppers cook and loose some water they will expand a bit.
Onto the topping. Combine parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. Sprinkle onto the top of each pepper.
Load it on. It gets crunchy and browned in the oven, so the more the merrier!
The absolute best vessel to bake stuffed pepper in is a bread loaf pan. Hands down. Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the bottom and put two peppers in each.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the peppers and blistered and the top is golden brown.
Serve with a green salad for a super healthy dinner. These are just what I need to get back on track after my sugar high this weekend! Bonus: they reheat really well, so make a big batch and you'll not only have an awesome dinner, but also healthy and delicious (and filling!) lunches for the week!
|Quinoa and Turkey Stuffed Peppers|
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 3 carrots, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine (plus more for drinking! ;) )
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
- olive oil
- 4 red bell peppers, tops cut off and hollowed out
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Drizzle some oil in a large skillet or dutch oven preheated over medium high heat
- Add carrots and onions
- Reduce heat to medium low and cook until veggies are caramelized, about 20-30 minutes
- Add chopped garlic, cook 2-3 minutes
- Add turkey and seasonings, cook until brown, about 10 minutes
- Add wine, increase heat to medium high
- Stir, scraping bits from the pan and cook until wine is reduced by about half
- Add quinoa, stir to combine
- Spoon turkey mixture into red peppers
- To make the topping combine parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and thyme in a small bowl
- Top peppers with equal amounts of the breadcrumb topping
- Drizzle oil in two loaf pans
- Place two peppers in each loaf pan
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until tops are golden and peppers and blistered