Fresh & Crunchy Bell Peppers

Photography by Rich Smith


 These colorful fruits have a sweet taste, a crunchy flesh, and a wealth of antioxidants and vitamin C. Their most common colors are green, orange, red, and yellow. However, on more rare occasions, they also come in shades of dark purple, lavender, brown, and white. With such a wide variety of colors, bell peppers make a beautiful accent to everything from salads to fajitas to omelets. They also provide a satisfying crunch and an added boost of nutrition!



HR.Gallery2FoodWorks’ Baked Chile Rellenos

Prepared by Chef Troy Sutton

Serves 6 | Total Cook Time 1.5 hours

For a healthier spin on the traditionally fried chile relleno, try this tasty, baked version! This recipe perfectly marries the hearty flavor of flame-charred pepper with the refreshing and herbaceous notes of lime and cilantro. 

Chile Relleno Ingredients:
– 6 whole bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
– 2 cups black beans, drained
– 2 cups quinoa, fully cooked
– 1 cup queso fresco
– ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
– 2 limes, juiced
– 1 red onion, finely diced
– Salt and pepper to taste

Poblano Pepper Sauce Ingredients:
– 2 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and seeded
– ½ cup vegetable stock
– ¼ orange juice
– 2 sprigs fresh cilantro
– 1 lime, juiced
– 1 tsp. cumin
– Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
To roast all peppers (for rellenos and for sauce), heat oven to 400 degrees or use a grill’s open flame. As the peppers’ skin blisters, rotate peppers until each side is fully charred.

Once fully charred, place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes, allowing them to continue self-steaming as they cool down.

Peel skin off all peppers under an open stream of water. Then slice poblano peppers open and de-seed and de-stem. Set poblanos aside for sauce.

Make small incision toward top of bell peppers, near stem, but without damaging stem. Insert spoon to de-seed each, leaving the whole pepper intact.

Combine the remaining chile relleno ingredients in a bowl and spoon the mixture into bell peppers until each is ¾ of the way full, saving the rest.

Lay stuffed peppers flat in a baking dish, incision side down. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until baked through.

While stuffed bell peppers are baking, make poblano pepper sauce: combine poblano peppers with all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a touch of cumin, salt, and pepper to taste.

To plate, spoon sauce in a smear across the plate, top with a bed of the remaining chile relleno mixture and set stuffed peppers on mixture. Garnish with cilantro.


HR.Gallery


Cajun Bean Dip with Red Bell Peppers

Serves 8-12

Be the host with the most when you serve this hearty dip on crunchy fresh bell peppers. Here’s a snack or appetizer that you don’t have to feel guilty about!

Ingredients:
– 2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
– 1/4 cup lemon juice
– 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
– 1 tbsp. mild Cajun seasoning
– 1 clove garlic, more to taste
– 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
– 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
– 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
– 4 to 6 whole red bell peppers, sliced

Directions:
Purée beans, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons oil, seasoning, and garlic in a food processor until very smooth and creamy.

Transfer to a bowl.

Garnish with chopped peppers, celery, and onion.

Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and serve with sliced peppers for dipping.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):
160 calories (50 from fat) | 6g total fat |
1g saturated fat | 170mg sodium
20g carbohydrates (8g dietary fiber, 2g sugar) | 6g protein

From Whole Foods
wholefoodsmarket.com


 

Storing Wisdom

Green peppers are younger, less ripe versions of the red and orange varieties, and therefore tend to last a bit longer. Keep peppers in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for one to two weeks or slice and freeze to use in recipes later.

 


 

Grilled Mushroom and Pepper Fajitas

Serves: 6

This earthy, fulfilling dish is grilled and seasoned with aromatic cumin. The creamy, spicy chipotle sauce tops it off with a nice kick.

Ingredients:
– 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
– 2 tbsp. olive oil
– 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
– 1 1/2 lbs. mixed mushrooms (portabella caps, shiitake and crimini)
– 8 oz. white button mushrooms
– 1 red bell pepper, halved
– 1 green bell pepper, halved
– 1 medium sweet onion, halved
– 12 (6 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
– 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
– 1/2 tsp. salt

Chipotle Cream Sauce Ingredients:
– 8 oz. sour cream
– 1 chipotle pepper, stem and seeds removed
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1/2 tsp. pepper

Directions:
In a small dry skillet heat cumin seeds until fragrant, about 1 minute. Place in a large bowl with olive oil, garlic and all the mushrooms; toss to mix and coat.

Preheat outdoor grill or broiler. In batches on a grill screen or rack of a broiler pan, place tossed mushrooms with bell peppers and onion halves. Grill 2 to 3 inches from heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Slice all vegetables into strips. Place an equal amount of mushrooms, peppers, and onions on each tortilla; sprinkle with feta cheese and a drizzle of chipotle cream (see below). Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Chipotle Cream Directions:
Place 1 container (8 ounces) sour cream, 1 chipotle pepper (stem and seeds removed), and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper into food processor. Process until the pepper is finely chopped, 15-30 seconds.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):
468 calories | 226 calories from fat | 25g total fat |
12g saturated fat | 1g polyunsaturated fat |
10g monounsaturated fat | 50mg cholesterol |
1143mg sodium | 588g potassium | 46g total carbohydrate | 4g dietary fiber | 4g sugars |
15g protein

From Nutrition World
nutritionw.com


 


How to Choose

Look for well-shaped, glossy, firm peppers with no wrinkles, sunken areas, or discolored spots. They should feel dense, indicating thick meat and juiciness.

 


Pizza-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serves 4

For a healthy alternative to carb-loaded, traditional pizza, try these fresh, convenient personal pizza peppers for dinner. The best part is they’re fun and easy to make!

Ingredients:
– 2 bell peppers, halved lengthwise
– 1/4 cup pepperoni slices
– 2 tbsp. bread crumbs
– 1/4 cup Italian-blend shredded cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Remove seeds and stem from peppers and place cut-side up on baking sheet.

Chop pepperoni coarsely; combine bread crumbs, pepperoni, and cheese.

Fill each pepper half with cheese mixture; bake 15–18 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.

Nutrition Facts (per serving):

120 calories | 8g total fat | 3g saturated fat |
0g trans fat | 20mg cholesterol | 320mg sodium | 6g carbs | 1g fiber | 3g sugars | 6g protein | 6% calcium | 40% vitamin A | 30% vitamin C | 4% iron

From Publix
publix.com



Did you know?

Bell Peppers are technically fruits because they bear seeds, though they are considered vegetables in the culinary world.
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