With their vibrant color and unusual shape, stuffed peppers can provide a stunning presentation for your main course. This recipe is gluten-free and vegan, with protein-rich quinoa and a vegan pesto sauce drizzled on top for a flavor boost.
Regular pesto is delicious but is high in calories and contains cholesterol. This sauce contains heart-healthy fats from walnuts and has zero cholesterol and much lower saturated fat than a classic pesto recipe. Extra pesto can be frozen for later use with whole-wheat pasta, brown rice or even fresh fish.
About bell peppers
Bell peppers range in color and flavor based on how ripe they are. A red bell pepper is riper and therefore, sweeter and milder than a green bell pepper.
Red peppers contain 11 times more beta carotene and four times more vitamin C than green bell peppers. Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy, and beta carotene benefits your immune system, vision, skin health and bone health.
Red bell peppers also contain an important phytochemical, lycopene, which could benefit prostate and heart health, according to the Produce for Better Health Foundation.
Select bell peppers that are brightly colored and firm with tight skin. You can store bell peppers for up to five days in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Quinoa is considered an ancient whole grain, but it’s actually a seed.
Quinoa is a good source of fiber with 5 grams of fiber per serving. Fiber keeps you fuller longer and aids in digestion and overall heart health.
According to the American Dietetic Association, quinoa is a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids – great for vegetarians and vegans.
In addition to containing more protein than many grains, this powerful seed also contains more nutrients, including important minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc and iron.
Quinoa is widely available and can be found in most grocery stores, typically near rice and other grains.
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