Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Appetite for Appreciation

Since my lovely friends are allowing me to live with them for a month while I am waiting for my apartment to become available, I have decided to thank them by cooking as much food as possible.  Last week I made honey mustard panko chicken with rice pilaf and roasted asparagus one night and broiled spiced salmon with quinoa and spring greens another.  I started this week off with Red Snapper en Papillote on Monday, tomorrow I'm planning to make my favorite soup, which I've posted about before, with ham, brie, and fig jam paninis, and here's what I'm planning for tonight:

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- About 1 lb ground chicken or turkey
- 6 red/yellow peppers
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup diced onion or shallots
- minced garlic
- mushrooms
- fresh spinach
- herbs of your choice (I plan to use fresh oregano and thyme)
- my holy quartet of seasoning: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
- olive oil
- mozerella cheese

  1. Cut 1⁄4 off stem end of peppers; remove seeds. Stand peppers (remove sliver from bottom of pepper if it won't stand up) and tops in a microwave-safe baking dish. Add 1⁄2 cup water, cover with moist paper towel and microwave on high 5 minutes, or until peppers are crisp-tender.
  2. Put quinoa, broth, and seasoning quartet to taste into a pot and cook per directions on box.
  3. Meanwhile, drain juice from canned tomatoes into a bowl.  Saute chopped mushrooms, shallots, and drained tomatoes in a large nonstick skillet in olive oil over med-high heat until cooked through and lightly browned.  Add spinach and let wilt. Set aside vege mixture in separate bowl.  
  4. Cook ground chicken in same skillet vegetables were in.  Once cooked through, make a little "hole" in the middle of the chicken and add olive oil and garlic.  Let garlic simmer for a moment to flavor the oil and then mix into the meat.  
  5. Add the cooked vegetables and quinoa to the meat mixture and stir together.  Season more with the seasoning quartet to taste. Cook for about a minute in the skillet to let the flavors meld then add shredded mozerella (1/2-1 cup or so) and mix in.  
  6. Spoon vege/meat/quinoa/cheese mixture into peppers; top with more shredded mozerella. Place the pepper tops off to the side of the peppers in the dish.  Fill the bottom of the dish with the reserved tomato juice.
  7. To bake: Heat oven to 400°F and bake uncovered 30 minutes, or until sauce bubbles and peppers/cheese are lightly charred. 
Serves 6, or in our case 3 with leftovers for lunch on Thursday - yum! :0)

(image from here)

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