Stuffed Peppers was one of my Mom’s staple recipes when I was growing up. She made them with ground beef, white rice, canned tomatoes and topped them with shredded cheddar cheese (yum!). They were always one of my favorite meals growing up, so I thought it was about time I gave them a Clean and Delicious spin!
Stuffed peppers are pretty nutritious by nature so it didn’t take much to ‘clean them up’. I simply chose some grass fed beef, subbed the white rice for quinoa, and added an eggplant to the mix.
Stuffed Peppers can be a Mom’s best friend because you can make them ahead of time, reheat them whenever you’re ready to eat and they even freeze well. I tend to prepare most of our dinners during the first half of the day and then simply reheat them come dinner time so you can see why I would be such a fan of this recipe.
Because of this reason, I keep the peppers on the al dente side, this way they don’t get too mushy if I pop them in the microwave (which is usually what I am doing when it’s time to eat!). If you didn’t plan to eat these as leftovers, you might want to cook the peppers just a bit longer just to soften up a little more.
As for the stuffing, you could swap out the beef for ground bison or turkey, swap the quinoa for whatever rice or grain you have on hand, and add just about any veggies you want. Simply put, these peppers are super versatile and happy to receive whatever creative culinary twists you care to send their way!
Are you a stuffed pepper fan? What type of ingredients do you like in your stuffing?!
Beef, Eggplant, & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- 5 bell peppers
- 1 lb grass fed ground beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1-3 tsp Red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa
- 1/3-cup fresh chopped parsley
- 5 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Pre heat oven to 350
Halve and seed the bell peppers. Lay the peppers in single file on a rimmed baking sheet and cook for twenty minutes.
In the meantime, heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a large non-stick sauté pan and add in ground beef along with some salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat and cook for about five minutes or until the meat as browned. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
Add the remainder of the olive oil into the pan along with the onions, and garlic. Cook for about three minutes before stirring in the eggplant, red pepper flakes, and another kiss of salt and pepper. Cook until the all of the veggies are soft and tender (this will take about ten or fifteen minutes). If the pan seems dry add a splash of water.
Add the tomato paste and water to the veggies and stir until all the veggies have been coated with the tomatoes. Add the beef back to the pan along with the quinoa and adjust the seasonings. Shut off the heat and stir in the parsley.
Stuff each pepper with about a half-cup of beef and quinoa filling (or as much as it takes to fill the pepper). Pop the peppers back into the oven for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Remove from the oven and top each pepper with one tablespoon of cheese and then finish them in the oven for another five minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Makes 10 servings.
Nutrients per 1/2 pepper: Calories: 205; Total Fat: 10.7g; Saturated Fat: 3.3g; Cholesterol: 36mg; Carbohydrate: 15.7g; Dietary Fiber: 3.5g; Sugars: 2.7g; Protein: 13.9g