Peppers Burn off fat…
Both hot and sweet peppers may enhance weight-loss efforts, it is true. Research has shown that capsaicin—the substance that gives hot red peppers (or chilies) their kick, and boosts our metabolism—keeps immature fat cells from developing into full-fledged ones. And a study presented in April found that a compound in some sweet peppers (called CH-19 Sweet), which resembles capsaicin, provides similar positive metabolic effects—minus the burning mouth and lips. So let’s get pepper making with this Greek Style Stuffed peppers!
Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 4 yellow, orange and/or red bell peppers
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat orzo or you could use risotto rice for Gluten Free option
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed), chopped
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Halve peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving the stems attached. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Place the peppers cut-side down in a large microwave-safe dish. Add 1/2 inch water, cover and microwave on High until the peppers are just softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool slightly, drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
3. Mash chickpeas into a chunky paste with a fork, leaving some whole.
4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and oregano and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the orzo, chickpeas, 1/2 cup feta, tomatoes, vinegar and salt; cook until heated though, about 1 minute. Divide the filling among the pepper halves and sprinkle each pepper with some of the remaining 1/4 cup feta.
Per serving: 344 calories; 11 g fat ( 5 g sat , 4 g mono ); 25 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 11 g fiber; 656 mg sodium; 689 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (340% daily value), Vitamin A (130% dv), Folate (48% dv), Magnesium & Potassium (20% dv).