This post was created in partnership with ALDI. All opinions are our own.
“Are you considering becoming a creative person? Too late, you already are one. If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.” -Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
When I was in kindergarten, I entered a coloring contest. It was about eating healthy foods. Since it was the 1980s, the approach at the time was very food pyramid-centric. I drew a bunch of different “healthy” foods that I knew of in different categories: vegetables, dairy, meats, and so forth. My drawing ended up winning the kindergarten division, and it was displayed for all the school to see.
The thing was, I was pretty uninspired with the whole thing. I drew it because it was an assignment. I did not feel creative about it in the least. The food pyramid seemed like a limiting set of rules set forth by the school and government. Cooking and eating healthy foods in my mind was B-O-R-I-N-G.
To this day, I have the same feeling about programs that try to tell me how to eat healthy. Lists and check boxes don’t work for me. What does work? Creative freedom. I love eating beautiful, colorful, delicious food. Lucky for me, eating whole foods can be the opposite of boring: they can be creative, delicious, inspired, fun, and interesting.
That’s why Alex and I learned just enough about whole foods eating to inform ourselves, and then we put our main focus on being creative, fun and inspired. We cook together and try to find the tastiest things we can dream up. Our kitchen is our workshop. After a long day at work, making something beautiful to eat is personally satisfying. We don’t do it because we have to or an app on our phone tells us it’s important. We do it because we love it, and it’s endlessly joy-filled.
This quinoa stuffed peppers recipe is a new one we created to be a creative way to eat your veggies. Multi-colored bell peppers are stuffed with quinoa, pistachios, and feta in a Mediterranean-inspired take. It’s a recipe we created especially for ALDI using ingredients available at their stores.
Does taking a creative approach to food instead of a have-to approach speak to you? Let us know in the comments below.
This recipe is part of another *NEW* Meal Plan over on the ALDI blog. The Hello, Healthy blog features healthy living resources including recipes, tips, meal plans, videos, and eating guides. We’re excited to be a part of getting the word out about the ALDI commitment to carry better-for-you ingredients and expand their affordable organic product offerings.
Did you make this recipe?
If you made these Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, we’d love to hear how they turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free (omit cheese).
- 6 multi-colored bell peppers
- 1 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 medium shallots (1 cup chopped)
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- ¾ cup chopped Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios
- 2 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice + zest from ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Wash the peppers and cut them in half lengthwise; remove the stems and seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the peppers on top. Bake cut side down for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, flip to cut side up, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake another 15 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa and drain it completely, then place it in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer where the water is just bubbling for 17 to 20 minutes until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for at least 5 minutes.
- Mince the garlic, shallot and parsley. Chop the pistachios. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic, shallot and red pepper flakes and sauté 1 to 2 minutes until the shallot is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat, then stir in the cooked quinoa, pistachios, ¼ cup parsley, paprika, oregano, lemon zest, sea salt and black pepper. Taste and add another few pinches of salt to taste. Garnish with a small sprinkling of remaining parsley and feta cheese crumbles. Serve any additional filling on the side.