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Stuffed Green Peppers with Quinoa

Memories of stuffed peppers in my Mother’s kitchen are sketchy, probably because I wasn’t fond of vegetables as a kid.  My taste buds have matured with age, and I love almost all vegetables.  I decided I would experiment with stuffed peppers and loved this recipe substituting quinoa for rice.  The result was a protein rich, yummy AND healthy dish.    When I made this recipe I only had three green peppers on hand, so I made a small meatloaf with the remaining meat mixture.  Fabulous!  This will also be a new meatloaf recipe to add to my collection.

Mini Meatloaf

STUFFED GREEN PEPPERS WITH QUINOA

6 medium green peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can (1 lb. 3 oz.) crushed or diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 pounds lean ground chuck
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Precook quinoa according to package directions.
2. Slice off tops of green peppers and remove seeds and ribs. Rinse peppers. Chop the edible portion of the tops and set aside. Place peppers in a large pot of boiling salt water and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from water, drain, and cool slightly.

Prepared Green Peppers

3. Heat olive oil in medium size skillet; add chopped onion, celery, and pepper and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Simmering tomato mixture

4. In a large bowl, beat the egg together with the Worcestershire sauce. Add ground chuck, quinoa, and 1 cup of tomato mixture and mix well.
5. Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in greased casserole. Pour remaining tomato mixture over the top.

Stuffed, raw peppers

Stuffed raw peppers topped with tomato mixture

6. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.

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