Prep & Cooking Time: 70 mins (*Dependent upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Non-stick pot, sieve, chopping board, sharp knife, measuring jug, frying pan(s), frying spatula, heat-proof dish.
Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, protein, carbohydrates, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in saturated fats!
This is a great recipe, if we do say so ourselves. It allows you to have all of the lovely roasted bell pepper taste without the calories; there’s no greasy fillings either! These stuffed peppers are crammed full of delicious flavours and textures, making them satisfying right up until the last bite! It’s the perfect meal for right now too as it’s currently so cool and damp here in the UK!
Happy cooking everyone! 🙂
100g Dried Quinoa
4 Large Bell Peppers (red, yellow or orange/ approx. 680g)
70g Frozen Spinach
180g Red Onion
4g Garlic Clove
80g White Mushrooms
68g Cherry Tomatoes
16g Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
4g Fresh Dill
16g Fresh Basil
250ml Vegetable Stock (low-sodium, DF/ GF if required)
5ml Olive Oil
10g Cashew Nuts
10g Pine Nuts
3g Dried Thyme
20g Dried Cranberries
Salt and Ground Black Pepper
Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂
Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under cold water and then and cook it according to the packet instructions; remove from the heat. NB: We cooked ours for 15 mins and then allowed it to rest for an additional 10 mins off the heat (with the lid on!).
In the meantime, prepare the vegetables and stock.
- Place the spinach into a small microwavable bowl. Microwave on a defrost setting for about 4-6 mins, or until defrosted/wilted. Drain in a sieve. Tip: If using fresh spinach, wash it in a colander and gently wilt it by pouring a little freshly boiled water over it. Drain.
- Peel and finely chop the onion the garlic.
- Wash, pat dry and then roughly chop the mushrooms.
- Wash, trim the ends, peel and then finely grate the carrot. Wash, remove the stems and then dice the tomatoes.
- Wash, dry and then finely chop the parsley, dill and basil; if preferred, discard any larger stems.
- Boil 250ml in a kettle. Prepare the vegetable stock in a large measuring jug.
- Meanwhile, place the ‘pepper bases’ onto a microwavable plate. Microwave for 6 mins or until just softened. Tip: This will shave you 30 mins off your cooking time! Remove and place them into a heat-proof dish.
- Place the pepper tops onto a plate. Microwave for about 3 mins. Once the peppers have cooled, lightly rub the outside of the tops and bottoms with the oil.
Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. In the meantime ‘steam-fry’ your veggies!
- Place a non-stick frying pan or wok over a medium-low heat. Once hot, add the stock a little at a time to ‘steam-fry’ the vegetables. Add the onion and the garlic first. Cover with a lid and gently fry for 1-2 mins. Tip: Stir and add a little more stock occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking; continue with this tip as you add more vegetables.
- Add the mushrooms and steam- fry for 3-4 mins. Add the carrot and tomato. Steam-fry for 3-4 mins. Add the parsley dill, basil and spinach. Fry for a further 1-2 mins. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Meanwhile, heat a (small) separate, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the nuts. Gently ‘dry-fry’ until lightly browned. Tip: Watch them like a hawk! They can easily burn, especially the pine nuts!
- Remove from the heat. Transfer the nuts onto a chopping board. Allow to cool slightly. Roughly dice them.
- Fluff the cooked grains of quinoa with a fork.
- Add the quinoa, nuts, thyme and cranberries to a frying pan. Mix together. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Tip: If preferred, you can complete this step in a mixing bowl, but why dirty another dish eh?!
- Spoon the mixture into the peppers. Press and stuff it snugly into the peppers with the back of a spoon as you go. Tip: You can place a ramekin in the middle to prevent the peppers from falling whilst they roast!
- Once the peppers are full, top them with the pepper tops. Place the pan onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 20-30 mins, or until softened and lightly roasted. NB: Ours finished in 27 mins. Remove. Allow them to cool slightly before serving as the inside will be steaming hot!
- Cook the peppers in the oven for 45-60 mins until roasted, (if you have the time of course) and skip the ‘microwave step’.
- Try using large beef tomatoes instead of peppers. We would imagine you would have to at least halve the quantity of the stuffing, unless you fancy roasting loads of tomatoes! If you do this, save the scooped out tomatoes flesh and add it to the stuffing instead of the cherry tomatoes!
- Try various herb or nut combinations.Tip: Any herbs you do not use, you can always wash, dry and then freeze in a resealable and air tight container.
- Use fresh spinach instead of frozen. Tip: the frozen variety works just as well and its usually cheaper too.
- Try using wild rice instead of quinoa.
- Serve with some dark green leaves if desired. In all honestly though, you probably don’t need much as these babies are ‘fibre-licious’!