Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Lemon Quinoa & Squash Medley

This was a recipe that I came up with off the top of my head after talking with one of my Fireman’s sweet cousins over the Fourth of July holiday.  She and her newlywed hubby are always looking for something super simple and healthy to cook up for dinner time- but doesn’t take a load of effort.  She actually has lost over 25 pounds and is continuing her weight loss journey through exercise and eating healthy- and stuffed peppers seems to be a go-to meal for them.  Why shouldn’t it be?  You can put whatever you can imagine in them! 

Choose Your Protein

Ground sirloin (93/7)
Ground turkey (93/7)
Sausage
Beans or chickpeas
Chicken breast
Seafood (salmon, shrimp)
Firm Tofu, cubed

Choose Your Grain

Rice (brown, wild, jasmine)
Couscous
Quinoa
Lentils
Barley

Veggies Galore!

I would choose whatever is in season at the moment, but the possibilities are endless. 

Squash
Snap or Snow Peas
Potatoes (cut back on the grain amount with this addition)
Corn (cut back on the grain amount with this addition.)
Asparagus
Tomatoes

Of course there are a million and one other options for stuffing peppers, but I’ll leave you to pinterest for that. 

Zucchini and yellow squash were on sale last week and looked summer beautiful (wouldn’t we all love to look summer beautiful?), so I grabbed a few to add in.  I l.o.v.e the flavor Baby Bella mushrooms added to any dish, and it seemed fit to throw them in here, too.  For my protein, I actually made Lemon Chicken and Vegetables in the slow cooker the night before, and knew when planning this recipe I almost always have leftovers- which I did- so I saved a couple breasts for shredding and stuffing the next night.    Since you will most likely not have leftover lemon chicken handy-and the lemon flavor is something you should simply never live without (when it comes to this recipe, anyway..) I substituted fresh lemon juice and zest in the quinoa. 

Quinoa is such a versatile grain- it will happily conform to whatever flavor you put with it.  My favorite quinoa recipe of all time at the moment is Mexican Quinoa. 

freakin. awesome.

I actually found quick-cooking quinoa at Central Market.  Can’t find quick cooking?  No sweat.  There is only a slight difference in quick cooking and regular quinoa- about 5 minutes.  Seriously.  Cooking time is about 15 minutes for regular quinoa, and my little bag of the QC variety suggested a 12 minute cooking time. 

So go.  Choose your pepper, protein, grain, and veggies and have at it.  These were delish- and super simple- so why not start your stuffing habit with this recipe?

Just a thought.   

Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Lemon Quinoa & Squash Medley

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 2 pepper halves

Ingredients

  • 4 medium size bell peppers, color of choice
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking quinoa
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 1/4 cups fat free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large summer squash, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, doced
  • 1 (8-ounce) container whole baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped
  • 1/2 cup (2-ounces) 2% Colby Jack Cheese, shredded

Instructions

Wash the peppers and slice each in half, carefully removing the seeds and white membrane, leaving the stem if able. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Warm oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Ad squash, zucchini, and onion. Saute until just tender, about 7 minutes. Add in mushrooms, garlic, salt, and pepper, cooking until mushrooms are soft and garlic is fragrant, 4-5 minutes.

While veggies cook, Bring quinoa, lemon juice, and chicken broth to boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Cover when boiling and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until germ seperates from the seed (the cooked germ looks like a tiny curl.) Let stand covered for 3 minutes to become fully fluffy. Stir in lemon zest. Combine squash mixture with the quinoa, stir in the prepared chicken breast.

Stuff each pepper with the chicken mixture, mounding slightly. Sprinkly each pepper evenly with cheese and cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until peppers are tender. Cooking for just 25 minutes with leave you with a pepper that is still with a slight crisp. Cook for another 10 minutes or so for softer peppers. Uncover and bake for another 8 minutes to allow cheese to fully melt and slightly bubble and brown.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 351; Fat: 9 g; Carbohydrate: 37 g; Fiber: 8 g; Protein: 28 g

http://chocolate-broccoli.com/2012/07/chicken-stuffed-peppers-with-lemon-quinoa-squash-medley.html

Comments

  1. This looks amazing! cant wait o add to my Meal Planning next week!

  2. These look yummy amber!

  3. This looks amazing! I’ve made stuffed peppers with quinoa & Italian sausage but the squash and lemon sound like a great addition.

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