Mediterranean Recipe for Meatless Stuffed Peppers

 

As part of our ongoing bid to stay healthy and add variety to our diet, we’ve recently decided to try Meatless Mondays, cooking vegetarian cuisine one day a week. Bret was actually a vegetarian for a few years back in the ’90s, but has since discovered that he is much happier as an omnivore. Still, we both love sweet peppers and Mediterranean cuisine, so this Mediterranean recipe (which Mary adapted to our tastes from an old Weight Watchers recipe) suited our needs perfectly. Try it the next time you want a delicious, flavorful meatless meal.

 

INGREDIENTS: 1 tsp olive oil • 1 small onion, diced • ½ tsp kosher salt • 1 tsp minced garlic • 1 tsp oregano • 14 ½ oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained • 1 cup cooked quinoa • 1 cup water • 4 medium sweet red peppers • 10 medium olives, kalamta, chopped • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed • 6 oz. baby spinach, chopped  • 3/4 total cup feta (use 1/2 cup, reserve 1/4 aside for topping)
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  • Use a foil-lined baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. • Heat oil in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.  • When hot, add onion and kosher salt stirring occasionally until onion softens (5-7 min). •  Add garlic & spinach to pan and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. •  Add tomatoes and their liquid, oregano, quinoa, water and salt to taste to pan and stir well to combine. • Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. • Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender (15 min). • Slice the top off each pepper and remove core, ribs, and seeds. •  Make a thin slice across the bottom of each pepper so it sits flat. • Place on prepared baking sheet. • Mash chickpeas into a chunky paste.  • When quinoa is done cooking, stir in the olives and chickpeas. •  Spoon about 1 cup of the quinoa mixture into each pepper and bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. •  Remove from oven and sprinkle each with reserve feta cheese. •  Return to oven and cook until feta is slightly melted.
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