Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers & Carmelized Peach Brie Quesadillas

This week has been rather busy for us (somehow I feel like all the weeks are nutty!) and I wanted to find easy dinner recipes that I could simply throw together when I got home from work. I saw this great recipe on Pinterest for vegetarian stuffed peppers and thought I'd give it a shot....usually I make stuffed peppers with meat, so I was a little hesitant. I got all of the ingredients; however, failed to realize how long it took to make the dish...not my idea of a week night dinner! I didn't have time to wait for it to bake for 1 hour so I revised the recipe...Here it goes:

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (I used fresh Spinach and it came out great!)
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained (save liquid)
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup quinoa (I didn't have quinoa so I used Israeli Couscous)
  • 3 large carrots, grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided (I used Mozerella)
  • 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
Directions:
  1. Make your quinoa or in my case Israeli couscous and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
  3. Stir in black beans, quinoa (Israeli couscous), and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  4. Cut peppers in half. Place in a microwave bowl filled half way with water. Cook peppers in microwave for about 1.5 minutes or until the peppers are tender.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
  6. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa (Israeli Couscous) mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover peppers with generous amount of cheese.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Remove peppers from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Tonight, I made exotic quesadillas: Carmelized Peach and Brie Quesadillas served with salad. This recipe was super easy and really, really good! I altered the directions so here's my version of these delicious quesadillas:

Ingredients:
  • 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1/4 lb of Brie cut into very thin slices
  • 1/4 of one red onion 
  • Butter to carmelize onions
  • 1/4 c honey
Directions:
  1. Slice onion up into small pieces. In a nonstick pan add butter and onion until carmelized (about 5 minutes). Place onions on a small plate and set aside.
  2. Take peaches and slice thinly. In the same nonstick pan, add thyme and sauté for approximately 3 minutes (just enough to smell the Thyme and make the peaches slightly tender). Place peach slices on a small plate and set aside.
  3. Assemble the quesadilla: Place 1 tortilla in pan and add thin slices of brie, add several pieces of peaches, and two spoonfuls of onions. Cook until cheese is melted....enjoy!

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