QUINOA, SALMON, AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO STUFFED PEPPERS
6 yellow, green, and/or red peppers
1 cup raw quinoa
1, 8.5-ounce jar Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Halves with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Italian Herbs
1 pound salmon filet, skinned
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 large leek, chopped (white part and light green)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups shitake mushrooms, julienned
2 cup baby spinach leaves, packed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
¼ cup fresh basil chopped (plus more for garnish)
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
Cut the tops off of the peppers (save for filling) and remove the innards (seeds and veins) to create ‘cups’. Put pepper cups into a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until the peppers are fork tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and cool and drain peppers, upside down, on paper towels. Reserve 2 ¼ cups of the cooking liquid.
Cook 1 cup quinoa in the 2 ¼ cups of reserved ‘pepper water’ until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until all the moisture is absorbed. The quinoa will be translucent in color.
Drain the Bell Sun Luci tomatoes, reserving the oil. Chopped the tomatoes and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoon of the reserved tomato oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the salmon filet on both sides with 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Sear the salmon filet on each side until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. The flesh in the middle should be translucent in color and flake easily. The salmon will continue to cook in the peppers, so it is fine if it is not cooked through completely. Remove from pan and let cool.
Add the remaining reserved tomato oil to the skillet. Sauté the leeks and garlic over medium heat until soft and fragrant. Chop up the pepper tops and add these along with the mushrooms and chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the pan. Sauté until peppers are tender and mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
Add cooked quinoa, spinach, corn, basil, and remaining teaspoon each of salt and black pepper to the pan and toss to mix until spinach is wilted. Crumble the salmon filet into the pan in bite-size chunks and gently fold into the quinoa, followed by the crumbled goat cheese. Scoop the stuffing mixture into the pepper cups to fill completely. Sprinkle the Swiss cheese over the stuffed peppers.
Bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Garnish with more chopped basil and DEVOUR.