Turkey & Quinoa Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

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I did something today that I almost never do.  I mean, I really never, ever do this!

I took the day off.  I just took a personal day.  I never take a day off unless one of the kids is sick.  I usually go when I’m sick.  It’s easier to suffer through the day than to write lesson plans for a substitute and to go clean my classroom.

Michael and I realized yesterday that we were very quickly running out of time to get our passports for our upcoming cruise.  So I took the day off today to go and get copies of our birth certificates (Michael and I couldn’t find ours) and then we checked Elizabeth out of school early so we could go and apply for our passports.  We had taken our photos for the passports last week.  Would you look at us?

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I can’t decide if we look like America’s Most Wanted or a very dysfunctional Brady Bunch! I guess we’ll have to practice looking ticked off every time we present our passports!

We dropped Elizabeth off at school because she had track tryouts.  She’s trying out on shot put.  Then we came home and I started dinner.

We love stuffed bell peppers.  I grew up with my grandmother making them and Michael grew up with his mom making them.  My mom didn’t make them – and I didn’t make them for the longest – because neither of us likes green bell peppers.  They’re just too bitter for me.  But a few years ago, I started making them with red bell peppers and never looked back!  This is just a variation of my classic recipe – which you can find here:  Stuffed Bell Peppers.

Turkey and Quinoa Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • 6 bell peppers
  • olive oil
  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 packages of taco seasoning
  • 11-ounce can of Mexicorn, drained
  • 2 cups of uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3 cups of shredded cheese, divided
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.  Place in a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.

While peppers are cooking, in a large skillet, drizzle olive oil and brown the ground turkey on high heat.  When turkey is almost done, add the onions.  Continue to cook until onions are tender.  Add the taco seasoning and continue to cook on high, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is cooked out.  Add the corn and stir.  Remove from the heat and add 2 cups of shredded cheddar.  Stir to combine.

In a medium saucepan, add quinoa, water, and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until water has been absorbed and the germ has spiraled away from the grain.

Stir the quinoa into the meat mixture and taste for seasoning.  Spoon the mixture into the bell pepper halves, over filling slightly.  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, take off the foil and sprinkle the tops of each bell pepper with cheese.  Allow to melt before serving.

Well Duh #1:  This is a double batch of the meat mixture.  Freeze the second half in a zippered bag.  Be sure to label and date it.  The next time you’re in the mood for stuffed bell peppers, buy the peppers, thaw the filling, stuff it in, and bake.

Well Duh #2:  I know that lots of you are used to making your stuffed bell peppers by slicing off the top and filling them that way.  I prefer to slice them this way because you can get more stuffing into them.  They also make a nice portion size.  And they’re pretty!

Well Duh #3:  I used a 2% variety of shredded cheddar.

Well Duh #4:  You could even top these with sour cream, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce if you want the full taco effect!

These are a new favorite in our family!  I can’t wait to make them again!

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