6 medium bell peppers, varied colors (choose flat-bottomed ones)
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 small zucchini, chopped
4 ounces spinach leaves, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese, divided
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, carefully cut around bell pepper stems to create a hole large enough to remove seeds and ribs. Cut an additional half inch or so off the top; chop these pieces and set aside.
2. When water boils, submerge bell peppers and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain in a large colander, or set upside down on paper towels.
3. Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; stir for 5 minutes. Add reserved chopped bell pepper and stir for another 5 minutes. Add pine nuts and cumin and stir for 1 minute, then add zucchini, spinach, oregano, and salt. Stir for 3 minutes, then add cooked quinoa and half the feta cheese.
5. Preheat oven to 425°. Set peppers in a large rectangular baking dish coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Fill each pepper with quinoa mixture. Sprinkle remaining feta over tops. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Make-ahead tip: Assemble and refrigerate; allow an extra 5-10 minutes for cooking.
FUNctional Kitchen is provided by James Rouse, ND, and Debra Rouse, ND.
PER SERVING: 279 cal, 46% fat cal, 14g fat, 4g sat fat, 17mg chol, 9g protein, 31g carb, 5g fiber, 335mg sodium