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Beef + Quinoa Stuffed Pepper Casserole
Preparation Time: approximately 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: approximately 1 hourServing Size: 2 pieces, Serves about 6
1 Slices on The Slice Plan
6 bell peppers, assorted, halved and cleaned
2 cups quinoa, cooked (as per package instructions)
2 TB olive oil
1 lb. ground beef, at least 85% lean
½ lb. Portobello mushrooms, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, large, diced
½ lb. carrots, peeled and diced small
1-15 oz can tomatoes, diced (or peeled Roma)
1-28 oz can tomatoes, pureed (or diced)
2 TB cumin, ground
1 TB chili powder, ground
1 TB kosher salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In olive oil, sauté onions, garlic, and carrots until onions are translucent. Add ground beef and cook until completely browned - DO NOT DRAIN*. Season with half the cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne.
Add mushrooms and continue cooking until mushrooms are slightly softened (this should absorb the remaining liquid in the pan). Add diced (or peeled Roma) tomatoes and simmer until slightly thickened and no water remains. Set aside.
Meanwhile, combine pureed (or diced) tomatoes with the remaining half of cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne. Simmer 15-20 minutes until sauce is thickened.
Assemble peppers: In a large casserole dish, place 12 halves of peppers open side up. Fill with ¼ cup quinoa and ½ cup beef mixture. Use the remaining mixtures, if any, to top off any peppers. When all peppers have been filled, top with tomato sauce. Cover and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until peppers are softened. Remove cover, top with cheese, and continue baking until cheese is completely melted and/or slightly browned.
*The liquid left after cooking the beef should be very little (and not worth losing the nutrients from the vegetables) since you are using a leaner version. You are not stuffing these peppers with raw beef to reduce overall cooking time!
Turn-out & Storage
Serve immediately alongside your favorite vegetable or salad. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired. Remember that quinoa is a grain, so no additional grains are necessary to make this a complete meal! Great for large sit-down get-togethers or family meals.
This recipe can be stored for up to 3 days under refrigeration.