Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers with quinoa, goat cheese, zucchini and herbs

Anna lea and I made this the other night for all of the tall handsome men we know. The original recipe is from America's Test Kitchen, but I tweaked it a little; added herbs from out garden, switched quinoa for rice. We served two halves to each diner, and with a side salad, that satiated even the most manly of our man friends. 

Serves 4. 

Ingredients

4 red bell peppers

4 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 pound ground chicken thighs

1/2 pound ground chorizo (or andouille) sausage

1 yellow onion, chopped fine

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 small zucchini, in half-moons

2 large kale leaves, chopped fine 

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 sprigs parsley, chopped 

1 handful sage, chopped

4 sprigs thyme, chopped

6 basil leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

8 oz fresh goat cheese 

1. Set a large pot of water to boil. Poach peppers until bright red and tender, 5-10 minutes. Drop boiled peppers into ice water, or rinse under running water to stop cooking. Meanwhile, bring quinoa and two cups of water to boil, and reduce to a simmer, covered, for fifteen minutes.

2. While your pots are simmering away, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high, until just smoking. Add onion, spices and ground meat, breaking up meat with wooden spoon. Cook for about five minutes and stir in zucchini, cook until tender. Add kale, herbs, and garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in cooked quinoa, and taste for salt and pepper. Take off heat and let cool slightly.

3. Adjust oven rack 8 inches from broiler, and set to High. Pat peppers dry, cut them in half, leaving stems intact, and remove seeds. Place pepper cut side down on well-oiled rimmed baking sheet. Broil until spotty brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from over and flip peppers cut side up. 

4. Stir about half of goat cheese into quinoa mixture, taste for seasoning. Stuff each pepper half with as much quinoa filling it can handle, making sure to leave no air pockets. I used my hands! Sprinkle with remaining goat cheese and broil for about five minutes.