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These peppers are packed with protein, fiber and offer a rich dose of vitamins. They are easy to make ahead of time and great for leftovers. Plus, the pesto recipe is cheese and nut free and provides a secret substitute for the traditional loads of olive oil. Get creative by adding in chopped veggies or beans and topping with Parmesan or feta cheese.
3 cups kale leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups roasted red pepper soup
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
4 links pre-cooked chicken sausage, finely chopped
1 (each) large red, yellow, and orange bell pepper
2 cups cooked quinoa (recommend tri-color quinoa)
1 cup kale pesto
½ red onion, diced
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
2. Reserve one cup for the pepper mixture.
3. The remainder can be drizzled over the peppers after baking, or stored in the fridge to use for eggs, dips, pasta, etc.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 9×11 inch baking dish with foil or parchment paper. Lay the 6 pepper halves in the pan.
2. Slice the peppers in half cleaning out the seeds and membrane.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the red onion and sauté for 5 minutes.
4. Add the chicken sausage and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 10 minutes until golden brown.
5. Toss in the quinoa and kale pesto and stir until combined.
6. Divide the quinoa mixture among the 6 pepper halves, compacting it down with a spoon.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, until the peppers soften and start to blister.
8. Serve with extra kale pesto drizzled over the top.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.
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