As a woman that was born and raised in the South, I’m no stranger to a stuffed pepper. There were so many meals that my mother prepared for us growing up that still cause my mouth to water, but her stuffed peppers were not my thing. Everyone else loved them. I’ve just never been a fan of the green bell pepper, which is what she stuffed with some kind of hamburger meat concoction. Trust me, I’ve come a long way from the picky eater that I was as a child, but I still have no desire to add the green bell pepper to my diet. A girl has to be true to herself.
A few years ago, my friends Bill and Cynthia brought a cool jalapeno pepper grill rack to our beach house. They had stuffed them with some kind of sausage concoction and they were delicious. I’m a little bit of a jalapeno pepper addict. I like things spicy. So, I guess it was inevitable that I would eventually start stuffing peppers. Here’s the evidence. 🙂
- 4 whole organic red peppers
- 1 cup dry organic quinoa
- 2 small skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- 1 cup raw kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 3 cups Gluten Free organic chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella and asiago cheese
- 3 large cloves of garlic freshly minced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 pack gluten free taco seasoning
- 1 tsp. fresh parsley
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil to medium high heat in a small frying pan. Add the chicken and cook until the juices run clear. Most small chicken breasts should cook in about 5-7 minutes. It just depends on their size. The chicken will need to be flipped over half way through the cooking time. Once cooked, remove from pan and set to the side. Leave any leftover chicken fond in the pan. Let chicken breasts sit for at least ten minutes before you cut them. While the chicken is cooking, fill a small boiler with 2 cups of the broth and the quinoa. Bring to a slow boil and reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 9-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir periodically. You just want to cook it until the liquid is gone. Salt and pepper to taste. While quinoa is simmering, add the remaining olive oil to the pan the chicken was cooked. Bring the pan to medium high heat. Once hot, add the vinegar to the pan and use spatula to lift fond. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook until it is golden. ( takes about one minute) Add the kale and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Remove from heat and add the kale to the quinoa. Mix 3/4 of the cheese and all the taco seasoning into the mixture and set aside. Chop chicken into small pieces and add to the quinoa. Remove the tops of the red peppers, seeds, and ribs. Place in a casserole dish that will fit all four peppers inside. Fill each pepper with quinoa mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Pour remaining broth into the casserole dish. (this will help the peppers steam) Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30-40 minutes. Peppers will be soft and liquid will have evaporated. Remove foil and broil the peppers for 2-3 minutes. Do not walk away while broiling. As soon as the cheese starts to bubble, they are ready. Let peppers stand for 5-10 minutes. Chop fresh parsley and sprinkle over hot peppers. Serve with a light salad.
This makes 4 stuffed peppers. Depending on the size of the peppers, there may be leftover quinoa mixture. You can save this in the fridge for 2-3 days. The peppers that I used were rather large and technically were two servings each. The hubs and I shared one. My sister heated hers the next day in the microwave and added goats cheese. It’s not a bad idea, so feel free to add more cheese.