I never thought the day would come when I’d be tired of salmon and spinach. Unfortunately, that day came precisely the day after I cooked enough salmon to last me three meals. I thought about inventive ways I could use the salmon and the large box of fresh baby spinach I had in the refrigerator, and I remembered the bag of bell peppers I also needed to prepare. An idea crept up that I should try stuffed bell peppers.
In the past, I’ve made stuffed bell peppers with rice and ground beef, but this would be different. Instead of rice, I wanted to try quinoa with spinach, salmon, and kale.
I cut the tops off two bell peppers and cleaned the seeds out from inside. I boiled the peppers for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, I chopped up some purple kale, baby spinach, 1/2 a leek, and 1/8 of a red onion. I set these aside and upon removing my bell peppers, I used the same water (reduced down) to boil the quinoa which is prepared just like rice. After a few minutes of boiling, I covered the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Once cooked, I added all the vegetables (minus the bell peppers) to a pan and sauteed with a touch of olive oil and minced garlic. Also added some ground ginger, ground mustard, and cumin for good measure. I wetted the mixture down with some water and kept stirring for several minutes. Then I added in the salmon and continued stirring for several more minutes.
For a vegetarian variation, leave out the salmon and substitute with another protein like black beans.
I sprinkled the mixture with a bit of parmesan cheese and scooped it into the bell peppers. I placed the bell peppers in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
The dish turned out nicely, although there are a couple things I would try differently in the future. I had been concerned that the salmon would overpower the flavors of the stuffing, so I didn’t add much seasoning to the rest of the ingredients. Once all the elements were mixed together, I felt the dish could have benefited if I had cooked the ingredients in some broth for additional flavor instead of the water.
Total cook time, approximately 30 minutes plus 10 minutes to prep.
3 bell peppers
1/8 red onion
1 cup kale
1 cup spinach
1 cup quinoa
6 oz salmon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cavender’s greek seasoning
Makes 2 servings.
Calories: approx 500 per serving