Enjoy these recipes to put vegetables front-and-center on your family’s table:
Americans aren’t eating enough vegetables. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is one of the keys to good health — helping to protect the body against all kinds of diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more. But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of Americans are consuming less than 1 cup of vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruit per day, and 87 percent of Americans are not eating the recommended daily amount of vegetables. In state-by-state comparisons, our own community here in Delaware is doing slightly worse than the national average.
It’s time to step it up, friends! Healthy habits at home and at work are your best defense against needing a trip to the hospital. As your expert, caring partners in health, we at Christiana Care want to help you make a difference in your life and your family’s life, and build a healthier community. What better way than to refocus on every mother’s advice: Eat your vegetables.
This is the fourth in a series of recipes that we hope will teach you some delicious, fun ways to get more vegetables into your diet. We hope you find a few recipes that you like enough to make them weekly staples. Let us know your favorites! For more help in planning your family meals, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Rainbow stuffed peppers
Packed with balsamic-roasted vegetables, these vibrant stuffed peppers are an excellent way to eat the rainbow. Eating many different colors of vegetables and fruits is an easy way to ensure your body is getting a variety of necessary vitamins and minerals. These peppers are stuffed with quinoa, a nutritional powerhouse packed with protein, iron, fiber, magnesium and folate.
Bell pepper sizes will vary. If there is leftover filling, consider packing it for lunch as a delicious cold salad, topping with an extra drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
|1 large tomato, seeded and diced|
|1 small onion, diced|
|1 small zucchini, diced into 1 inch cubes|
|1 small eggplant, diced into 1 inch cubes|
|3 cloves garlic, minced|
|3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar|
|1 teaspoon olive oil|
|¼ – ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional|
|1 cup quinoa, uncooked|
|Low sodium vegetable broth, low sodium chicken stock, or water, see quinoa package for amount|
|6 large sweet bell peppers|
|Juice and zest of ½ lemon|
|4 oz fresh low fat mozzarella, diced (provolone would also be delicious)|
|½ cup fresh basil, chopped|
|4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese|
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- On a large foil-covered sheet pan, combine diced tomato, onion, zucchini, eggplant and garlic. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil and balsamic vinegar, mixing well. Drizzle mixture over vegetables and toss to combine. Sprinkle vegetables with crushed red pepper if desired and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables have softened and are beginning to brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce heat to 400°.
- While vegetable mixture roasts, cook quinoa according to package directions. Use low sodium vegetable broth, low sodium chicken stock, or water as the cooking liquid. Set aside.
- Slice tops off peppers and remove all seeds and white pith. Place peppers cut side down in a microwave safe baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3-4 minutes or until peppers begin to soften. Leave the plastic wrap on while the filling is prepared.
- In a large bowl, mix together roasted vegetables, and cooked quinoa. Sprinkle with lemon juice and zest and stir. Add diced mozzarella and fresh basil, stir to combine. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
- Uncover microwaved peppers, turn them cut side up and wipe out any moisture from the dish. Fill each pepper, slightly mounding the filling, and sprinkle each pepper with 2 teaspoons of Parmesan cheese. Bake in 400° oven for 25-30 minutes until heated through and the tops are golden brown. Serve hot.
Serving size: 1 stuffed pepper
|Calories||271||Total Fat||8 g|
|Saturated Fat||3 g||Monounsaturated Fat||1 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1 g||Trans Fat||0 g|
|Cholesterol||12 mg||Sodium||216 mg|
|Potassium||860 mg||Total Carbohydrate||39 g|
|Dietary Fiber||7 g||Sugars||11 g|