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Quinoa and Crab-Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers


By: Candice Kumai

Stuffed with fluffy quinoa, sweet crabmeat, fresh basil, and fragrant saffron, these stuffed peppers are a far cry from bland and heavy rice-loaded peppers. Plus, red bell peppers are a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that could potentially reduce the risk of cancer which is just another great reason to become addicted to this all-in-one meal. Crab can be pricey when it’s not on sale, so feel free to use chopped raw shrimp or shredded rotisserie chicken instead.

Serves 6


1 cup quinoa

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

8 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) lump crabmeat

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled, and sliced crosswise into thin strips

Pinch saffron

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 medium red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded and cored


Place the quinoa in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and then drain through a sieve. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the quinoa. Reduce the

Heat to low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid, about 25 minutes. Scrape the quinoa into a large bowl to cool slightly.

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the crabmeat and tomato sauce and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked quinoa, basil, saffron, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.

Grease the insides of the peppers with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil and arrange in a shallow baking dish. Season the insides of the peppers with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and roast until they’re just tender, about 25 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place on a heat-safe work surface. Mound 1/2 cup of the quinoa on top of each pepper half and return the pan to the oven until the peppers are soft and fragrant and the quinoa mixture is hot, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

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