by Nicole Garrett, fall intern 2014

Want a healthy, protein and nutrient-rich meal full of flavor, zest, and color? Well, Pretty Protein Peppers are exactly that! They are not only extremely nutritious, but taste delicious and can be shared with the whole family. Also, these are a great meal prep idea because they can be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave for a quick, on the go lunch at work! Here’s how to make them:

Pretty Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole bell peppers (red, yellow or orange preferred)
  • One pound lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 Cup Quinoa
  • 2 cup Chicken broth-99% fat free preferred
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • Course salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 tablespoon Tomato Paste (all natural)
  • 1/4 cup blended cheese, shredded (if desired)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F
  2. Season the ground turkey with salt and pepper and brown in skillet with onion on medium temperature
  3. In the meantime, cook the quinoa with half the amount of liquid called for (using chicken stock rather than water will add flavor) and half the time as noted on the box directions.  Once the quinoa mixture is transferred to the peppers, the liquid in the peppers will cook the quinoa the remainder of the way in the oven.  Be careful not to over cook the quinoa before filling the peppers as it will get soggy.
  4. Push the ground turkey to the edges of the skillet and pour olive oil into center.  Add garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the can of tomatoes, liquid and all, into the skillet with the ground turkey, onions and garlic.
  6. Once the quinoa is done, add that to the skillet along with the worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, salt and pepper.
  7. Combine all ingredients well
  8. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove all seeds from inside
  9. Take your meat and quinoa mixture and fill the peppers to the top.  If there’s any extra stock from the quinoa, add it to each individual pepper.  After the peppers are full, sprinkle the cheese evenly over each one and put the tops back on the peppers.
  10. Cover the entire baking dish with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 50 minutes
  11. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until peppers start bubbling (but don’t let the skins turn too brown)

With a meal this delicious and nutritious, it’s always important to know the macro-nutrient breakdown per serving. So here’s the breakdown:

  • Total calories per serving – 332
  • Carbs – 33g per serving ~41% of total calories
  • Protein – 22g per serving ~28% of total calories
  • Fat – 11g per serving ~31% of total calories

As shown, this meal is high in protein and healthy carbohydrates and low in fats which is ideal for just about anyone! It’s easy to lower the fat per serving by eliminating the cheese.

Now that we’ve all worked up an appetite, gather the ingredients and give it a go! You’ll not only have a great dinner, but maybe even a great lunch the next day as well.

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