Quinoa and Mushroom-Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 cup homemade marinara (or, if you must, low sugar/organic marinara sauce)
1/4 cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
Pinch saffron, optional
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 medium red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded and cored
Place the quinoa in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and then drain through a sieve. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid, about 25 minutes. Scrape the quinoa into a large bowl to cool slightly.
Heat the oven to 375˚F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chopped mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add the marinara sauce and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked quinoa, oregano, saffron (if using), and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
Grease the inside of the peppers with the remaining oil and arrange in a shallow baking dish. Season the inside of the peppers with the remaining salt and roast until they’re just tender, about 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and place on a heat-safe work surface. Mound 1/2 cup of the quinoa on top of each pepper half and return the pan to the oven until the peppers are soft and fragrant and the quinoa mixture is hot, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Nutrient Analysis: Calories: 173; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 358 mg; Carbohydrates: 26 g; Fiber: 4 g; Protein: 5 g
Recipe by Candice Kumai; photo by Gary Dolgoff