Autumn Stuffed Bell Peppers

 

Ingredients:

  1. 8-10 large multi-colored bell peppers

  2. 2 cups cooked quinoa in chicken broth

  3. 1 cup cooked brown lentils in water

  4. 1 cup roasted butternut squash, chopped in small pieces

  5. 3/4 pound lean ground sirloin (beef)

  6. 1 large onion, chopped in small pieces

  7. 2 chopped garlic cloves

  8. 2 tablespoons olive oil

  9. 2 large Roma tomatoes, chopped

  10. 1 teaspoon of oregano

  11. salt pepper to taste

  12. 1/2-3/4 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions for cooking:

  1. Prepare quinoa in chicken broth and lentils per package directions ahead of time, and refrigerate.

  2. Roast precut butternut squash at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes and let cool.

  3. Prepare bell peppers by washing well then chopping off tops and removing the seed and pith, set aside.

  4. Chop onions and garlic and add to the oiled skillet at medium-high temperature, and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes.  Add ground sirloin, oregano, salt, and pepper and cook until meat is no longer pink.  Break up any large pieces with a wooden spoon as meat is cooking.  This takes about 7-10 minutes.  After meat cooks and to the heated skillet, add cooked lentils, butternut squash, and quinoa.  Mix until well blended and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Take off heat and set aside.

  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, to the skillet and blend together until uniform.

  6.  Stuff the bell peppers with the skillet mixture and place them in a baking pan that can hold water.  Add water to cover the bottom tips of the peppers and cover with foil to create a steam bath.  Cook the peppers for 45 minutes then remove the foil.  Add about 1-2  tablespoons of parmesan cheese to the top of each bell pepper and cook in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes or until slightly browned on top.

          

This recipe is chock full of nutritious elements that together make a complete meal-in-one including the edible bowl.  It contains vegetables, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and squash, a rich whole grain, quinoa and lean proteins, lentils, and ground sirloin.  It even contains some calcium with parmesan cheese.  This recipe will take a little more effort, so if you can space the preparation out during one long day or even over 2 days it helps save time overall.

 

For vegan meal preparation, cook quinoa in vegetable broth, omit sirloin and parmesan cheese to the above mixture and use a 1:1 quinoa: lentil ratio.  Substitute 1 tsp of nutritional yeast to the top of peppers in the place of parmesan cheese.

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