(*NOT your mom’s stuffed peppers!)
It’s late summer. The market is overflowing with tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers. All the peppers.
I am filled with fitspo and I want to cook with everything. I’ve already made sauces and soups and I feel the yen to create something new. Something different. This is what the farmers’ market does to me. Everything is at its fresh peak, inspiring me to combine flavors and ingredients to bring out the best in healthy ways.
And I see the poblano peppers. Sitting next to the cartons and cartons of red and green bell peppers. A little spicier, great for cooking. My mind starts to wonder/wander what I could bring to them to mix up the traditional stuffed pepper. Don’t get me wrong; I am a huge fan of stuffed peppers. My mom’s are the absolute best and I have a recipe here and another for Stuffed Pepper Soup that I love. But like I said, with the market bursting with options, why not accept the challenge?
For some reason the more I thought about making stuffed poblano peppers, my head kept thinking about cheese. I decided to go with cottage cheese; not too crazy, good protein addition, and easy to add. Next decision? Meat. After standing at the meat counter for a bit and weighing my options I went with ground chicken and I gotta say I’m glad I did! For taste, texture, and nutrition it was the perfect fit. I went with quinoa instead of rice for a more modern twist on the classic (p.s. make extra for your weekly food prep 😉 )
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare quinoa according to package directions while making stuffing mixture. I used 1/2 cup cooked.
In skillet, saute in olive oil:
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion, chopped
2 white mushrooms, chopped finely
Add and cook until chicken is no longer pink:
1/2 lb. ground chicken
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 T. pine nuts
Combine meat mixture with cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup low/non fat cottage cheese. Stir well.
Prepare 6-7 poblano peppers. Remove tops and insides/seeds. Stuff with meat mixture and place in a shallow baking dish (prepared). Spoon remaining stuffing around peppers. Add 1/3 – 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth to pan. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle with an additional 1 T. crushed pine nuts before serving.
As is, this makes 3 servings, basically because that’s how many peppers I had. 🙂 You can EASILY double for more. Other ideas/modifications:
- take out/add to the cayenne depending on your preference
- substitute celery or beans for the mushrooms (just keep in mind it’s gotta be small)
- serve with corn, avocado, fresh tomatoes, grilled/roasted fruit (peaches or nectarines)