No-Stress Stuffed Quinoa Bell Peppers

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 3 minutes

Whether you’re dealing with  tax preparation pressures, everyday issues or unusual circumstances that have you feeling overwhelmed, the foods that you eat can help to elevate stress.   I’ve created a delicious recipe for Stress-Busting Stuffed Bell Peppers containing the following ingredients that will keep you calm in times of stress:

* Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers–Contain vitamins A and C and folate, which help give you more energy and repair cell damage caused by stress. *

*   Turkey— Turkey contains an amino acid called L-Tryptophan. This amino acid triggers the release of serotonin, which is a feel-good, muscle-relaxing brain chemical*.

*   Spinach–Dark green vegetables are powerhouses of vitamins that help replenish our bodies in times of stress. *

* Quinoa is rich in protein and vitamin B, which can have a calming effect on the body.*

* Brown rice contains B vitamins and fiber and also supplies serotonin-producing carbohydrates that do not spike blood sugar levels.*

* Basil“”Another great source of folate.


No-Stress Stuffed Bell Peppers

Makes 8 servings, 2 stuffed pepper halves per serving


stuffed quinoa peppers
Bob’s Red Mill quinoa is a rich source of protein and vitamin B, a nutrient that may support stress relief

8 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers or a mixture of all (about 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil, divided
1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
16 ounces fresh Italian turkey sausage, removed from casing or lean ground turkey
1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa

2 cups fresh baby spinach, rinsed and chopped or 1 (10-ounce) package chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove moisture
1 cup cooked Bob’s Red Mill Organic Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Quinoa
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Medium Grain Brown Rice
1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese
2 large avocados, peeled and pit removed, sliced
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, slicing from the stem to the bottoms, leaving the stems intact.   Remove the white pithy ribs near stem and down length of inside.   Remove the ribs and seeds and discard.   Place the peppers in a shallow 13 x 9 inch baking dish.    Drizzle the peppers with 1 tablespoon of the oil.    Cover the dish with foil, and bake the peppers 15 to 20 minutes, until they start to soften.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, chili powder, and cumin; cook until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes.    Add the sausage to the skillet. Cook, breaking it up with a slotted spoon or potato masher, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the salsa and the spinach, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cooked quinoa and brown rice.

Carefully fill the pepper halves with the turkey mixture. Cover the dish with foil, and bake until the filling is hot and the peppers are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil, and sprinkle the cheese over the top of the peppers. Return to oven; bake, uncovered, until cheese has melted, about 7 to 10 minutes.   Top the peppers with a heaping tablespoon of the yogurt.   Place the slices of the avocado on top of each pepper.   Sprinkle with the basil.   Serve immediately.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”