OK guys. It's official! I've started the wedding count down and there's three months to go! Seriously WHERE did the time go? I feel like I just got engaged and it was already almost a year ago. You know what else has started? The vague "bikini body" paranoia. We just booked our honeymoon tickets a yesterday (Japan and Hawaii here we come!!!!) and I realized if I'm going to do any kind of "get fit" shenanigan I have to start yesterday.
To begin, I'm attempting to be ever slightly healthier, or at least incorporate some good superfoods and maybe a little less red meat into my diet (I'm not letting go of cheese, because you know me by now). In this new healthy state, I've discovered I absolutely LOVE stuffed peppers. Who knew right? Time for some Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers!
To be clear, I'm quite happy with the way I look. But I don't really want to worry about it on the day of either so why not just go for it? Getting healthy couldn't hurt . SO I started that "body boss method" thing I keep seeing all over Facebook and it kicked-my-*** (anyone else doing it? if you are lemme know what you think about it!). I feel fantastic...but I can barely stand today ????. Yesterday was legs and gluts day. I'm mostly a "I'll do this 20 minute cardio sesh and call it a day" a couple times a week person and so am very not used to the working certain muscles on certain days thing. BUT I'm excited for the results, and fitness and healthy (-er) eating go hand and hand sooo...
Let's talk about these Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers. Honestly, I don't know how I haven't discovered these earlier in my life. Vegetarian and still full of protein - thank you quinoa ????????!
Honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of quinoa. Not something I just have to have on a regular basis. But stuffing it into a bell pepper with tons of spices, chilis, onion, garlic, and tomato plus a little cheese seems to be the perfect way to go. So tasty you forget it's healthy ????. Also, in case your worried about the whole quinoa thing, I added some black beans and corn for more variety and to make it filling enough to be the main entree of your dinner.
Also, who knew stuffed bell peppers were so easy to make??? Toss everything into a skillet to let it cook down in its own spicy flavors, mix in a little cheese, stuff spoonfuls of it into bell peppers without their tops, and bake. THAT easy! For some reason I thought it was weirdly complicated aand thankfully I was completely wrong. A simple, easy and delicious dish!
PS. Did I mention these Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers are vegetarian? I did? Well, that's because I'm super excited about it. They're so flavorful, you won't even miss the meat! Also, if you want a vegan version, substitute the cheese with your favorite vegan option, or just omit it all together. Easy peezy ????????!Print
- 6 bell peppers (I used red, orange and yellow), tops sliced off and cores/seeds removed
- 1/2 cup quinoa (I used red quinoa)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 ounce can green chilis
- 1 tomato, diced
- 15 ounce canned black beans, drained
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup mexican cheese blend
- Fresh cilantro, queso fresco cheese for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place a piece of parchment paper in a 9X13 baking dish.
- Cook quinoa: In a small pot, bring quinoa, vegetable broth, and a dash of salt to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered another 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
- While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
- Stir in black beans, corn, tomato, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper until combined.
- Add tomato paste and stir until completely mixed. Cook 2-3 minutes, until tomato paste starts to deepen in color.
- Add salsa and cooked quinoa. Cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is warmed through. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mexican cheese blend.
- Evenly spoon the cooked mixture into the bell peppers. Top with the rest of the mexican blend cheese. Place stuffed bell peppers in the prepared baking dish.
- Bake 25 minutes, until bell peppers are softened and cheese is melted.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and queso fresco crumbles. Serve warm.