Please oooh and aaah over the photos below :)
And, as for the Recipe below, enjoy my lengthy commentary on each item, which will make it nearly impossible to print out this recipe as a nice compact little list. HA!
Stuffed Peppers with Couscous, Ground Turkey, and Goat Cheese
Serves 2 (well I took it upon myself to use HUGE peppers, so it served 4, aka leftovers tonight!)
Total Bake time – 50 minutes (Don’t forget to allow this baking time, or your boyfriend will be very impatient and hungry…like when I tried to make that soup…)
Total additional Prep. Time – I dunno, how fast do you chop onions and wash peppers?!
2 bell peppers – I used red, but you can use whichever color you like the best. Pick nicely shaped ones with no blemishes, as this will be the main attraction
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or brown rice, or couscous) – I had intended on using quinoa, but APPARENTLY Albertsons doesn’t have it – more of a Trader Joe’s thing, I suppose. So I used whole wheat couscous, which was great.
onion - (chopped finely) I had half of a shallot lying around, so I used that. Some onion tears may have been baked into this dish. Ack.
garlic (chopped) I used 2 cloves
6 oz ground turkey – those packages at the store are 20oz I think, so just guesstimate how much. It doesn’t really matter too much.
4 oz turkey breakfast sausage – same guesstimate on these – I sliced up about 4 raw links
salt, pepper, Italian dried seasoning (basil, oregano, etc)
8 oz. tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes if you actually like tomatoes, which I don’t! so I used sauce)
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves – that’d be 1 gigantic handful of the raw leaves from the pre-washed salad bag.
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese – I found a package of pre-crumbled goat cheese (exactly 4 ounces, ThankYouVeryMuch) in the fancy cheese section of the grocery store. If you can’t find that, have fun tearing the soft cheese into tiny pieces…muahaha ;)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1) Slice tops off peppers just below the crown. Pull out seeds then rinse peppers quickly under running water to remove all remaining seeds. (Cut out that gross white part by the seeds too with a paring knife, ok?) Cut in half lengthwise (so they are little cups, see photo so you don’t screw this up!) and put in a casserole dish with a lid (or foil worked fine!...who has lids?!) Put the dish in the oven with the lid on.
Bake for 30 minutes then remove from oven. Set aside, leaving the lid on the dish. Keep the oven on. (I didn’t write this part of the recipe…kind of amusingly redundant – don’t worry, I don’t think you’re an idiot)
2) While peppers are in the oven, Cook quinoa, or couscous, or rice, or whatever as package directs in a medium saucepan. (Make so you are using a ½ cup of the grain, and then however much water it says to use – each grain is a different ratio). When it was done cooking, I fluffed with a fork, and added about a tablespoon of butter and a bit of olive oil. Come on the rest of it is sooo healthy…why not? ;)
3) While peppers and grain are cooking, Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until translucent. Careful not to burn the garlic. I said careful!!!
Add ground turkey and sausage. Using a spatula or large spoon, continually break ground turkey into smaller pieces as it cooks. Add a sprinkle or two of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. When turkey is no longer pink and just begins to brown, add tomato sauce and spinach. Mix well into turkey. (Try to mix the spinach under the other hot ingredients, so it wilts more quickly) Cook 1 more minute then turn off heat.
4) Add turkey mixture to quinoa (or vice versa, whichever pan is bigger!).
5) Add crumbled goat cheese. Mix well.
6) Pull dish with peppers out of the oven. A little water will have collected in the bottom of each pepper. This is fine. (So they said, but I drained a bit. Sue me. Mixture ends up plenty moist in keeping that lid/foil on…I didn’t see the need for water.)
Scoop quinoa-turkey mixture into the peppers, packing the peppers full. Spoon remaining quinoa around the sides of the peppers. (That is a cop out – pack it all in!) With the lid on the casserole dish, Bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit five minutes before serving.
I served with a mixed green and cucumber salad.
Pretty fancy, eh??
Give it a try!
Despite this lengthy novel, it is super yummy and easy!