Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa, Spinach, Goat Cheese and Toasted Pumpkin SeedsMy brother called me out on slacking on the blog, and he’s right. I’ll admit I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with work and keeping up with social obligations (aka rooftop bbqs), so being in the kitchen has taken a bit of a backseat recently. I’m working on getting my recipe wheels turning again…
2 Orange Bell Peppers1 cup Black Quinoa 3 handfuls fresh Spinach (big stems removed)1 cup Grape Tomatoes 2-3 Tbsp Goat Cheese1/4 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds (sans shell, or buy already roasted, also called Pepitas)2 cloves Garlic, chopped2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive OilA few splashes of Dry White Wine Salt to tastePreheat oven to 375 and roast pumpkin seeds until they brown slightly. Remove from oven, and turn oven up to 425. Bring two cups of water to boil in a sauce pan. Add in quinoa and a pinch of salt. Turn heat down to a simmer and cover pan with a lid. Cook until liquid is completely absorbed, about 15 minutes. In a saute pan, add olive oil and chopped garlic. Saute on low/medium heat until soft. Add spinach and toss with olive oil & garlic. The leaves will begin to wilt. Add quinoa to the spinach and toss together, continuing over heat. Add dry white wine a little at a time and stir until liquid start to evaporate. Salt to taste. Cut grape tomatoes in half and toss with quinoa. Add most of the toasted pumpkin seeds as well. Remove from heat and set aside. On a cutting board, cut off the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds and any remaining white edges inside the pepper with your hands. Stuff each pepper with quinoa mixture. Place in a shallow pan so peppers stay upright and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven until the peppers are soft but still have a bit of bite to them. Remove from heat and top with goat cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds.
This recipe is completely packed with good nutrients (protein! fiber! iron! vitamin c!), which is what I was craving. I swam laps for the first time in years tonight and donned my dorky, faded swim team suit from 1999 and Dollar $tore rainbow swim cap. The stuffed bell pepper was a nice healthy and filling dinner after the pool/public humiliation. 

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