Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

This is a wholesome WeightWatchers recipe that provides a good carb and protein balance and a lot of tasty, filling food. Great for lunch or a light dinner. Some amazing foods in WeightWatchers recipe books by the way. In general. They mostly need a bit of tweaking to make them what they should be: tasty. However this one is special. It needed very little changing.

 

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers (20/20 compatible)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 4-5 large bell peppers, tops sliced off (remove green handle but keep the top), cleanedgo for various colors if you like pretty
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, diced into tiny chunks
  • 1 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade or low-fat/low-sodium
  • 1 Tbsps Caraway seeds (or cumin seeds) – OPTIONAL
  • 2 Tbsps Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsps slivered almonds
  • 2 Tbsps dried raisins, – OPTIONAL, DO NOT USE IF ON 20/20
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Red chili flakes to taste – OPTIONAL

In a 2-qt pan, mix 2 cups of water with the quinoa; bring to boil. Then simmer for 10-15 minutes until water is all sooaked and quinoa is cooked to taste.

Fill a 5-6 quart pan with water, bring to boil. Cook the bell peppers and the tops for 3 minutes. Immediately drain peppers and wash with cold water to stop cooking. This process loosen the peppers (but no so loose that they tear) so you can stuff more in them. The circular tops you cleaned and kept will serve as ‘hats.’

IMG_6587Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit (350 if using convection). Spray a 4-5 quart pan with oil and set on medium heat. Saute onions until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Than add celery and cook for another 2. Then add the chicken. Break it down with a wooden spoon. Cook for 5-8 minutes until chicken starts browning.

Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to pan, along with the mustard and the caraway seeds if you are using them. Stir occasionally, until the juices become glaze-like. Add black pepper, salt (and red chili flakes) if using to taste.

Remove from heat. Mix in the quinoa and the almonds.

Stuff each pepper with the mixture. Use a spoon to press down so you can maximize the amount of stuffing each pepper gets. Place one of the tops on each pepper. Do this until you run out of peppers. If you are using small or medium peppers, you may need more than 4.

If you are using just 4 large peppers, then arrange the stuffed peppers in a 9×9 inch oven-safe glass dish. Fill the bottom of the dish with the remaining half of the chicken broth.

Bake for 30 minutes. If using a convection oven, I recommend you switch around the side facing the fan midway through the baking time.

NOTES:

  • You can use ground chicken breast in place of the chicken breast. You can use ground turkey or ground chicken as well but those tend to have more calories and fat.
  • Instead of quinoa, you can use barley, faro or any other grain.
  • The raisins are a nice touch, but they are also high on sugar so I do not use them.

Here is the nutritional information on this dish, courtesy of Spark People’s recipe calculator (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp). This particular recipe  is based on using chicken breast, no raisins, homemade broth and 4 massive bell peppers (2 red, 1 yellow and 1 orange) from Costco:

3 responses to Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

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