Jack-O-Lantern Peppers!

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In honor of Halloween, I wanted to post something festive. I originally wanted to make some fun appetizers or something for a party, but was crunched for time and decided to make these instead. I don’t remember where I saw the idea to cut orange bell peppers into mini jack-o-lanterns, but I was excited to try it! I decided to make a simple quinoa bake inside of them, and they were so good! Recipe below!

Ingredients

  • 5 large orange bell peppers
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 hot chilis, chopped (leave out if you don’t like spicy!)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Any other vegetables you want!
  • red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa per directions on the package, only substituting water for the chicken broth (I always do this when cooking quinoa, easy way to make it much more flavorful!)
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. Cut tops off of bell peppers
  4. Using a paring knife, carefully cut faces into which ever side of the pepper looks flattest. Set aside.
  5. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with two tablespoons of olive oil
  6. Add chopped garlic and any other vegetables you want
  7. Sautée until garlic starts to become golden brown and vegetable tender, then take off the heat
  8. Once quinoa is done cooking, add 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, all the tomato sauce, the chilis, garlic, and whatever else you have lying around that you might want to add! (ex: any other vegetables, chicken or sausage, etc.)
  9. Set bottom halves of peppers on a cookie sheet or baking pan
  10. Mix everything together and then carefully spoon quinoa mixture into bell peppers until filled to the top (I had extra quinoa that I threw in a tupperware container and saved for that week!)
  11. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella on top of each filled pepper, and place in oven
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and begins to brown/bubble
  13. Season to taste, and serve with the tops of the peppers on to look more like mini jack-o-lanterns!!
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