Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Please vegetarians and meat eaters alike with this substantial main dish. Mediterranean flavors come together with Kalamata olives, pesto, and chickpeas while a feta garnish inspires you to dig in. Plus, hearty quinoa packs a protein punch!

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 4 red bell peppers
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 14.5 oz can of Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained 
  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed if package indicates)
  • ¼ cup chopped Kalmata olives
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • 1 TB prepared pesto
  • ¼ cup crumbled low-fat feta cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. Add onion and ½ tsp kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes or until onion softens. Add garlic to pan and cook for an additional minute. Add entire can of tomatoes/liquid, quinoa, 1 cup of water, and 1 tsp salt to pan. Stir well to combine, turn heat to high, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender. 

Meanwhile, slice the tops off the peppers; remove core, ribs and seeds. Reserve tops for another use. Make a thin slice across the bottom of each pepper so it will sit flatly on a plate, and place on a cooking spray coated, foil-lined baking sheet. 

When quinoa is done, stir in olives, chickpeas, and pesto. Place approximately 1 cup of quinoa mixture into each pepper and bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Sprinkle 1 TB feta cheese on each pepper and return to oven for 5 minutes, until feta is slightly melted.