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Stuffed Peppers (Lentil, Quinoa & Vegetables)

These peppers are full of flavor and stand as a meal on their own.  This is a dish that will appeal to both vegan and non-vegans.
Don’t get scared away by the long ingredient list…these peppers are worth the effort and you will have enough to freeze for future meals as well.

4-5 Bell Peppers, cut in half, seeded and dry
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, seeded and diced
2 med carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Lentils (rinsed well)
1 cup Quinoa (rinsed well)
3/4 cup rice (optional)
1-2 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp oregano
1-2 tsp coriander
1-2 tsp cayenne
1-2 tsp chili powder
1-2 tsp sweet paprika
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1-2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1-2 cups kale or spinach, chopped
1-2 jars Due Cellucci Tomato Basil, Traditional and/or Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce
3 tbsp of tomato paste
2-3 cups low sodium vegetable stock or water (as needed)
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450

2. Sauté onion in 4 tbsp olive oil for a couple of minutes and then add minced garlic. Sauté all until soft.

3. Add all spices: cumin, oregano, coriander, cayenne, chili powder, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, turmeric. Stir well.

4. Drop in the rinsed lentils and quinoa. Add 1-2 cups water or low sodium vegetable broth. Simmer. Stir occasionally.

5.  Add diced green red bell pepper, celery, carrots. Continue to simmer while adding water or stock as needed (liquid should not be above the grains)

6. When the quinoa, lentils, and vegetables begin to soften, add in tomato sauce (start with 1 jar and add as needed) and tomato paste.

7. Stir and continue to simmer, taste for spices. Add salt & pepper.

8. Cover and simmer low and add tomato sauce as absorbed.  Once lentils are just past al dente, turn off heat, add parsley and chopped kale or spinach. Mix well. Cooked filling should be thick when it’s done.  Taste along the way (you won’t be able to stop!).  Lentils and vegetables will continue to cook in the oven so don’t worry if they are still a bit hard when you taste.

Filling the peppers

9. Rub oil on the inside and outside of dry, halved peppers. Place on parchment paper in baking tray.

10. Scoop in filling. Pack it in…press into the nooks and crannies

11. Bake on high heat (450) for 10-15 minutes and then lower heat to 325 and continue to back another 40-45 mins or until peppers are nice and soft.