Hero-Food-Stuffed Peppers Makes 4 servings These tasty and satisfying stuffed peppers are brimming with ingredients that are like health-protecting superheroes, including the full spectrum of colorful vegetables — dark green spinach, bright red bell peppers, and orange carrots — plus lean, protein-packed turkey and whole-grain quinoa. And they are seasoned generously with dried oregano, one of the most antioxidant-rich herbs out there. But don’t make them just because they are so good for you; that is really just a bonus. Make them because they are absolutely delicious, enticingly beautiful, and sure to please the whole family.
- 8 medium red bell peppers (4 pounds)
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- One 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, strained, juice reserved
- One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed of all excess liquid
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (from 1/3 cup uncooked)
- 1/2 medium zucchini, finely diced
- 1 small carrot, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- One 15-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the core, ribs, and seeds. Place the turkey, tomatoes, spinach, quinoa, zucchini, carrot, parsley, 1 teaspoon of the oregano, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, the black pepper, and red pepper flakes into a large bowl and mix with your hands until just combined. Pack the turkey mixture into the peppers, then place them, standing upright, into a large, ovenproof pot with a lid, such as a Dutch oven. In a small bowl, combine the reserved tomato liquid with the tomato sauce, remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour the tomato sauce over the top and sides of the peppers, cover, and bake until the peppers are tender but retain their shape, about 90 minutes. Serve the peppers with their sauce in small bowls.
To refrigerate and reheat: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 4 days. To reheat, allow to sit at room temperature as you preheat the oven to 350°F, loosely cover with foil, and cook for about 50 minutes, until warmed through. (Note: if you want to warm a single serving in the oven, two peppers fit nicely into an 8 × 4-inch loaf pan.) Alternatively, place in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a splatter guard, and microwave on high for about 5 minutes for one serving.
To freeze and reheat: Allow the peppers to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then place the peppers with their sauce in an oven-safe baking dish and cover tightly with a lid or with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. (Note: two peppers fit nicely into an 8 × 4-inch loaf pan.) There is no need to thaw. Remove any lid or plastic wrap, cover loosely with foil, and place in a cold oven set to 350°F. Once the oven comes to temperature, continue to cook for 90 minutes, until warmed through. Alternatively, place the frozen peppers in a microwave-safe dish, cover with a splatter guard, and microwave on the defrost setting for 25 minutes, then on high for 6 minutes for one two-pepper portion.
Excellent source of: Fiber, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K; Good source of: Calcium, Copper, Thiamin, Pantothenic Acid, Zinc