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Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa, Chickpeas and Zhoug

Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa, Eggplant and Chickpeas with Zhoug Yogurt

4.8 from 16 reviews

Healthy vegetarian Stuffed Peppers with Eggplant, Quinoa, Chickpeas, Zaatar and Zhoug Yogurt. Keep this paleo by using cauliflower rice! GF and Vegan adaptable!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa  ( or sub rice, cauliflower “rice”, cous cous, orzo or other grain)
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • ½ an onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small japanese eggplant, diced (or sub zucchini) about 2 cups
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (or sub 1 1/2 cups salted, browned, ground beef, turkey, lamb or chicken)
  • 12 tablespoon za’atar spice (or sub 11/2  teaspoon cumin, 1 1/2 tsp coriander, 1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds)
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • zest of one small lemon
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley, more for garnish ( or cilantro)

Garnish: Zhoug Yogurt  –my favorite!( see notes), pine nuts or slivered almonds

Instructions

Set the quinoa to cook. Preheat the oven to 400F.

Preheat the grill to high heat to grill the peppers. ( Alternatively,  you can roast these- see notes).

Cut peppers in half lengthwise and grill them on each side for about 6-7 minutes or until tender, and a little charred. (They will soften more in the oven later)

While peppers are grilling, heat oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion and eggplant over medium heat until eggplant is tender. Add the garlic and another little drizzle of oil if needed and cook 2 more minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add the chickpeas (or cooked meat) and quinoa and season generously with the zaatar spice. Taste, and add more to taste.

Season generously with salt and pepper. Add lemon zest and parsley. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings. If the mixture seems dry add a splash of water to loosen just slightly.

Place peppers in a baking dish and divide the filling among them, packing and mounding them up high. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, remove foil, and bake for 10 more minutes.

Spoon the flavorful Zhoug yogurt over top, or serve on the side. Garnish with more parsley and optional pine nuts.

Notes

Zhoug is an Israeli condiment that can be purchased (Trader Joe’s carries it in the area with the hummus) or it can be made. Here is a recipe.  Add a few tablespoons of Zhoug to a cup of  plain yogurt. Full fat yogurt is nice here – but if all you have is low fat or zero fat, swirl in a tablespoon of olive oil for extra richness. You can also use a vegan, plant-based yogurt.

Instead of grilling the peppers you can roast them in a 400F, open side down on a sheet pan until tender, about 20 mins.

If making ahead, stuff the peppers and place in the fridge for up to 2 days. Let them come to room temp, before baking.

Nutrition

Keywords: stuffed peppers, vegan stuffed peppers, stuffed pepper recipe, quinoa stuffed peppers, middle eastern stuffed pepper

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