Recipe of the Month: Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa or rice, thoroughly rinsed and drained
2 cups reduced sodium vegetable stock (or sub water—slightly less flavorful)
5 large red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, halved, seeds and membranes removed
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
20 ounces spinach, fresh or frozen (If using frozen, thaw and thoroughly press dry.)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
One 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup freshly grated part skim Mozzarella, provolone, or similar melty Italian cheese
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

Directions

Add quinoa and vegetable stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, then cover and let sit for 15 additional minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange the peppers in the dish, cut sides up.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep saute pan over medium high. If using fresh spinach, add the spinach in small handfuls, stirring as it wilts down, until you have added all of the leaves. If using frozen spinach, add it in a few larger handfuls, breaking up any clumps of leaves as you go.

To the skillet, add the garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Let cook 30 seconds, then add the artichoke hearts and cook until warmed through. Remove from the heat. Stir in the quinoa, parsley, 2/3 cup of the cheese, then the Greek yogurt.

Generously stuff the peppers with the quinoa filling. Take a sheet of foil larger enough to cover the peppers and lightly coat with cooking spray, then cover the dish with foil, spray-side down. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove foil, sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup cheese over the top, and continue baking 5-10 additional minutes, until peppers are cooked to desired tenderness and the cheese is melted. Serve warm.

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