Confession: I thought I hated stuffed peppers and I had never even tried them. But I was inspired by a recent online posting of peppers stuffed with quinoa. Coincidentally I had a bag of this ancient grain in my pantry that I had purchased, but never used. The only reason I had bought it was because I found out it was legal WW core food. But I had no idea how to incorporate it into my cooking. This recipe is fantastic. The flavor really comes from the meat, which is AWESOME.
1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth
4 bell peppers (any color)
2 cups Sloppy Joe mixture
1 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Mix quinoa, water, and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once mixture comes to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes (until all liquid is absorbed). Remove from heat and cover to keep moist.
Cut tops of peppers and remove seeds and ribs. (When choosing peppers, be sure to pick peppers that have 3-4 bumps on the bottom to help them stand up). Place hollowed peppers on foil-covered baking sheet. Place 2 heaping spoonfuls of quinoa in the bottom of each pepper. Then place about 2 spoonfuls of sloppy joe mixture in each pepper. Add another layer of quinoa and sloppy joe to each pepper for a total of 4 layers each. Bake for 15 minutes.
Remove peppers from the oven and sprinkle cheese on top of each pepper and spray tops lightly with cooking spray. Return sheet to oven and bake until cheese is melted.
Yields 4 servings.