My husband needs to cut out salt and fat from his diet as he is on the borderline of hypertension. He has already lost some weight, which is good although he wasn’t too much overweight, maybe 20 pounds? So once again I found myself searching the internet for recipes and a new way to cook.
It’s not too hard to change but the things he will miss most is coffee, beer and some cheeses. He is cutting back on those things but I am not salting our foods and choosing instead to use a variety of spices and herbs to add flavor. For our first new recipe we used smokey paprika and cilantro in the recipe which gave a wonderful combination of flavors.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
modified from Joy Bauer’s Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
3 whole peppers, any color will do
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, shredded or dices
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed unless the package says not too
1 1/2 cups water
1 can of cannellini beans- no salt added, rinsed and drained
8 oz. can of no salt added tomato sauce
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smokey paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheese-optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a 3 quart sauce pan on med-high heat. Add the carrots and onion, cooking until soft and onions are getting translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and saute’ for 2 more minutes. Add in quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to low, cook for 20-25 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Meanwhile prepare peppers by slicing length-wise, trimming stems and removing all membranes and seeds. Lay on the baking sheet and spritz with cooking spray. Soften in the oven for 15 minutes or so.Remove and let cool. There will be some liquid in the bottom of each pepper half, leave it there as it’s needed to keep the peppers moist.
Once all the water is absorbed from the quinoa, stir in the beans, tomato sauce, spices and cilantro. Spoon into the pepper halves and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven and add cheese to the tops, return to oven for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. You could also set them under a broiler for the last few minutes to char the peppers. For vegans, just skip the last step with cheese.
I was out of black beans so I made do with cannellini beans and I skipped the salt altogether since I didn’t have low-fat cheese. We had these with a few pierogi and we were full. Serving size is one half pepper and since the quinoa is a complete protein I believe this is why were felt full and satisfied with the meal.
As I keep trying new recipes for a healthier diet, I’ll be sharing them with you. In the meantime I am looking forward to a new event to my area called Dish Crawl. For more information, click on the link. I can’t wait for April 2nd!