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Southwestern Orzo Stuffed Peppers:

  • 3/4 c. Southwestern orzo, uncooked
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 20 oz (1.25 lbs) lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 large yellow or red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 c. low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 c. black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 c. red salsa (chunky is fine if you want some tomato pieces in it)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro + more for toppings
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt + more for taste if needed
  • 7 large bell peppers, cut long ways and seeded
  • 1 3/4 c. reduced fat shredded Colby jack cheese
  • Toppings, if desired (avocado, hot sauce, sour cream, more salsa)

  1. Bring a medium and small pot of water to a boil and cook the Southwestern orzo according to package instructions in one and diced sweet potatoes in the other. Once the sweet potatoes are at a boil, reduce to medium and cover, continuing to cook for about 6 minutes or until fork tender. Drain from water and set aside in a bowl. Another option is to roast the diced sweet potatoes with some oil in a 400 F oven for about 20 minutes (continuously check on it as time can vary with size of potatoes). Once the orzo is done, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile waiting for the orzo and sweet potatoes to cook, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions, jalapeño and garlic. Add in ground turkey and sauté until the meat is completely cooked and veggies are soft.
  3. Gently stir in the orzo, sweet potatoes, black beans, olives, salsa, 1/2 c water, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, 1/2 c. cilantro, salt, pepper and 3/4 cup cheese.
  4. Lay bell peppers cut side up in baking pans or large oven-proof skillets. Stuff each pepper with the orzo mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes until fork tender. Uncover and top each pepper with about 2 tbsp. cheese and bake for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Garnish with more cilantro and your favorite toppings if desired (avocado, hot sauce, sour cream, salsa).