• Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Extremely tasty and filling, these Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are an excellent dinner choice. Made with quinoa, ground beef, black beans and tons of veggies, this flavorful, colorful entrée is a home-run!

I made this meal one week for a Sunday dinner. It was simple to prep ahead. I mixed up the filling before church, then when we got home all I had to do was assemble and bake. So easy!

For the filling, I cooked up the quinoa in my rice cooker with a little bit of chicken bouillon. While that was cooking, I was able to brown the beef. The veggies I added were shredded carrots, corn and black beans. Did you know beans count as a vegetable? Other things you could throw in are zucchini, celery, cabbage, or tomatoes. Mix everything together with a little salsa and seasonings.

This filling is great stuffed in a pepper, but it’s also delicious all by itself. The recipe below makes enough filling for about 7 peppers, but you certainly don’t have to use it all stuffed in peppers. Serve it as a bowl-type meal topped with a little salsa and cheese, and you’ve got an excellent left-over lunch!

I made this with a mild salsa and chili powder so it was not spicy. I served up my kids plates with the normal filling, as well as some plain quinoa, beans and beef. My little guy actually loved the mixed filling. My older girls gave the mixed filling a try but preferred the separated items.

Don’t ever be discouraged if kids don’t love something the first time they eat it. It takes time and lots of exposures to accept a new food. Keep serving it, and invite them to try it, but don’t pressure them! If you don’t pressure or force, they will be more likely to mimic your eating style. And remember to keep that matter-of-fact attitude towards them with their eating!

This is a very high fiber meal. Most people don’t get enough fiber in their daily food choices. Fiber is important for good digestion and is very filling. Planning a high fiber meal will help you feel fuller longer, and will naturally add some power-packed foods to your diet.

The best sources of fiber are whole grains, fruits, veggies and beans, and this meal has them all! The daily fiber requirement is 21-25 grams per day for women and 30-38 grams per day for men. I know there are lots of fiber supplements out there, but there really is no substitute for the real thing, the way it was intended to be eaten, in whole foods. So give this meal a try and see what you think!

The Meal:

  • 1 stuffed pepper (approx. 1 cup of filling)

  • ½ ounce pepper jack cheese

  • ¼ avocado

  • 5 strawberries

  • ½ cup broccoli

  • ½ ounce of tortilla strips

Recipe Used in this meal:

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Serving size: 1 pepper (approx. 1 cup of filling)

Servings per Recipe: 7

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon

  • 1 lb ground beef

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder

  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained

  • 1 cup corn

  • 1 cup shredded carrot

  • ½ cup salsa

  • 7 medium bell peppers, cored, any color

  • 3 ½ oz pepper jack cheese

  • 1 ½ medium avocado

Directions

  1. Place the quinoa, water and bouillon in a rice cooker. Allow to cook until soft and fluffy (about 20 minutes)

  2. Preheat oven to 400°

  3. In a large fry pan, brown the ground beef. Once cooked thoroughly, place in a large mixing bowl.

  4. Add cumin, chili powder and garlic powder to the bowl. Drain black beans and add to the mixture. Then add corn, shredded carrot and salsa.

  5. Add the quinoa to the mixture when it is done cooking. Stir until well combined.

  6. Cut the tops off the bell peppers, and remove all the seeds inside. Brush the exterior lightly with olive oil. Place about 1 cup of filling in each pepper.

  7. Place in a large baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

  8. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve warm topped with avocado and any other desired toppings.

Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Quinoa Stuffed Peppers:

RD and Me

Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

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© 2016 RD and Me Nutrition Consulting, LLC