Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 bell peppers, tops cut, stemmed and seeded

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green chiles, corn, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, cilantro, cumin, garlic, onion and chili powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Spoon the filling into each bell pepper cavity. Place on prepared baking dish, cavity side up, and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, about 25-30 minutes. (If you’re running short on time, microwave the empty bell peppers for two minutes before stuffing them, and then bake for 8-10 minutes).

History of Bell Peppers

Bell peppers, also called Capsicum annum, are members of the nightshade family of plants. Originating from South America, a wild variety of bell peppers had seeds that dated back to 5000 BC. Though bell peppers had been widely consumed in South America, Central America, and Mexico, it was Spanish explorers and Christopher Columbus who brought these peppers to Europe where they became popularized. Relatives of bell peppers in the nightshade family include tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes. Paprika is the ground spice made from dried red bell peppers.

Medical Properties of Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and water. Fresh bell peppers are made up of 92 percent water. Most notably, red bell peppers are especially high in vitamin C and the antioxidant capsanthin. One medium red bell pepper supplies 169 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Bell peppers also supply vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K1, folate, potassium, lutein, luteolin, quercetin, and violaxanthin. With the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in bell peppers, they are touted as a healthy food that also helps fight cancer and conditions like heart disease. In supplying a combination of both iron and vitamin C, bell peppers help fight iron anemia with vitamin C aiding the body in the absorption of iron. The antioxidant carotenoids of zeaxanthin and lutein found in bell peppers help protect eye health and against oxidative damage to the eyes.

Surprising Facts About Bell Peppers

Yellow, orange, and red bell peppers are really green bell peppers that have ripened and have increased in sweetness during the ripening process. Covering a large part of the color rainbow, bell peppers are available in red, orange, yellow, green, purple, white, and striped varieties. Red bell peppers boast a high vitamin C content – twice the amount contained in green bell peppers. Even with their bitter flavor, green bell peppers are the most popular bell pepper in the United States. Though many think that bell peppers are vegetables, they are actually fruits like others from the nightshade family. Yellow and red bell peppers contains four times the amount of vitamin C compared to oranges, and purple bell peppers have a similar bitter taste like green bell peppers.


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