STUFFED Peppers with Quinoa & Smoked Almond Romesco

Quinoa stuffed pepper.jpg

A few weeks ago I had Romesco sauce and I immediately thought I had to make a healthier version at home.  Romesco sauce—a roasted red pepper and almond spread originating in the Catalonia area of Spain— is my current favorite go-to sauce for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner.  This Romesco sauce recipe is gluten-free, contains no bread, and is delicious on just about anything.  Mars likes it on chicken, Jordan loves it on french bread, and I've been putting it on everything

Make your quinoa, prep fresh bell peppers and Romesco sauce on Sunday and enjoy all week long.  Cook quinoa according to package.  Wash, remove seeds and cores and slice peppers in half.  Stuff with quinoa (approx 1 tablespoon per 1/2 pepper), then top with 1 tablespoon of Romesco sauce. 

Smoked Almond Romesco Sauce (Makes 2 cups)

    •    1 large tomato
    •    4 cloves garlic
    •    1/2 cup almonds (unsalted & unroasted)
    •    2 medium red bell peppers
    •    1/4 cup olive oil
    •    2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or lemon juice
    •    1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    •    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
    •    Salt and pepper to taste (usually a few pinches)

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a baking pan with foil.  Arrange almonds, garlic, and tomato on baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast almonds until fragrant, about 10 minutes.

Remove almonds and continue roasting garlic and tomato until soft, about 15-20 minutes more. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and peel garlic.  If you purchase pre-peeled garlic, it's easier. 

While the almonds, garlic and tomato are roasting in the oven, roast peppers over an open flame until the skins are blackened. Set peppers aside and let sit until cool for 15 minutes, then remove charred skin, seeds, and cores.

Place tomato, almonds, peppers, olive oil, sherry, paprika, salt, and pepper in your Vitamix or food processor. Purée until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt and cayenne pepper as needed.

Place in and airtight container and place in the refrigerator until cool. Store refrigerated up to 5 days, or freeze.  Enjoy!