This dish freezes well for future meals. Quinoa provides whole-grain goodness and a serving of protein.
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
• 2 Tbs. olive oil
• 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
• 1 Tbs. ground cumin
• 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
• 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
• 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
• 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
• 3/4 cup quinoa
• 3 large carrots, grated (11/2 cups)
• 11/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
• 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.