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For Paul Honan, MD: Nutrient-dense Stuffed Peppers

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Today's Tasty Tuesday recipe celebrates Dr. Paul Honan and his passionate commitment to ophthalmology and nutrition science, particularly to vitamin C. He regularly consumed vitamin C levels above the recommended safe upper level, and he had very few wrinkles at the age of 95, crediting his flawless skin to his daily high intake of vitamin C.

Dr. Honan, the inventor of the intraocular pressure reducer (the Honan balloon), passed away last Thursday at the age of 95, leaving a void in the hearts of everyone who had the pleasure of working with him. Dr. Honan continued to see medical patients until just before his death.  

Honan and his two compatriots, Dr. Richard Kratz and Dr. Tom Mazzocco, warmly known as the Three Amigos,  rarely ever missed traveling to national ophthalmology, nutrition science, or integrative health and medicine meetings long after their retirement from their ophthalmic surgery practices. They were as curious and passionate about full body disease prevention as they were about the surgical practice of ophthalmology.

Their intellectual curiosity about a vast number of subjects, including focused patient care, fly fishing, wine making and chocolate, never failed to charm and energize most any audience. A very close friendship like theirs seemed special among professional men.

Dr. Kratz, an esteemed and most gracious member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Hall of Fame, passed away three years ago, also at the age of 95. 

We send our sincere condolences to Dr. Honan's family and to the third and surviving Amigo  Dr. Tom Mazzocco, the inventor of the foldable intraocular lens implant called the Mazzocco Taco and the founder of the Mazzocco Winery in Napa Valley.


Today's Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe is to honor Paul Honan's fierce commitment to the magic of vitamin C. Red bell peppers are always listed first in plant-based vitamin C content. 

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers 


4 large bell peppers 

1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed

2 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup salsa

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (for savory umami flavor and B vitamins)

2 tablespoons cumin powder

1 teaspoon chili powder or red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic or garlic paste. 

1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained well

1 cut whole kernel corn, drained well 


Add quinoa and vegetable stock to pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy (about 20 minutes).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a baking dish large enough to easily hold four large bell peppers. 

Brush or spray peppers with a neutral, high-heat oil, such as grape seed oil or coconut oil.

Add cooked quinoa to a large bowl and add remaining ingredients, salsa through corn. Mix to thoroughly combine then taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, adding salt, pepper or more spices as desired.

Generously stuff peppers with quinoa mixture until all peppers are full, then cover the dish with foil. Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove foil, increase heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until peppers are soft and slightly golden brown. 

Serve with toppings. We suggest avocado slices, hot sauce, cilantro, diced red onion and fresh lime wedges.

Nutritional information

Ripe antioxidant-rich bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin. One cup of bell pepper includes 157 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C (117 mg per cup).  

Quinoa, the mother of all grains, is gluten free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that include all nine* of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. One cup of cooked quinoa includes 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and 58 percent of the manganese RDA, 30 percent of the magnesium RDA, 28 percent of the phosphorus RDA and 19 percent of the folate RDA.  


Ellen Troyer with Spencer Thornton, MD, David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff

Dr. Honan could most always be counted on to reply to the Biosyntrx Tasty Tuesdays, Friday Pearls and Sunday Morning Stop at the Intersection of Science, Art, Music and Humanities columns with delightful supportive comments, or gracious corrections, if and when he deemed appropriate. He and his comments will certainly be missed. 

*When amino acids where first classified by essentiality, only eight of the 22 standard amino acids were thought to be essential to adult humans. For a time it was thought that histidine was only indispensable during infancy, making it a conditional amino acid. Histidine was later reclassified as an essential amino acid when it was found to be indispensable through the human lifespan. 

Today's plant-based, gluten-free, nutrient-dense recipe is an adaption from the beyond talented minimalist baker