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5 min read

This week’s Vegetable Box Feature: Orange Peppers… although technically they are a fruit!

Did you know?

  • Bell peppers have the highest Vitamin C of any fruit or vegetable. In fact, it’s 3 times more than oranges!
  • Like quite a few other vegetables, they are botanically classified as a fruit because they contain seeds and grow from the flower of the plant.
  • Orange bell peppers are favored by chefs and home cooks for their sweet, fruity flavor and juicy, crunchy texture.
  • They are an excellent source of vitamin C and also contain vitamin A and B6, folate, copper, potassium, and manganese.
  • They are at times referred to as sweet peppers due to low levels of Capsaicin, the primary substance that is responsible for the ‘hotness’ in other types of peppers.

Fun Fact
All bell peppers start out as green.  Yellow, orange, red, and purple are all stages of ripening, and offer different levels of sweetness.

Where to Store it?
They will keep up to one week when stored unwashed in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Preparation
Before adding peppers to your recipe, or enjoying raw, be sure to give them a wash and cut open to remove seeds.


How to Use:
Orange bell peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as baking, roasting, grilling, and sautéing. When used fresh, the peppers can be chopped into salads, sliced and served as an appetizer with dips, layered in sandwiches, or minced into salsas. You can also hollow them out and use as a serving vessel for soups, dips, and stuffing.

Recipes:


Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls
Created by: Sara Haas, R.D.N., L.D.N.

With the chicken, beans and vegetables all cooked on the same pan, this healthy dinner is easy to make and the cleanup is easy too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp salt, divided
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper
  • 2 TBSP olive oil, divided
  • 1 ¼ lbs chicken tenders
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 cups chopped stemmed kale
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed
  • ¼ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP lime juice
  • 2 tsp water


Instructions:
1. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven; preheat to 425 degrees F.

  1. Combine chili powder, cumin, 1/2 tsp. salt, garlic powder, paprika, and ground pepper in a large bowl. Transfer 1 tsp. of the spice mixture to a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk 1 Tbsp. oil into the remaining spice mixture in the large bowl. Add chicken, onion, and red and green bell peppers; toss to coat.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven; coat with cooking spray. Spread the chicken mixture in an even layer on the pan. Roast for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine kale and black beans with the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large bowl; toss to coat.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven. Stir the chicken and vegetables. Spread kale and beans evenly over the top. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes more.
  5. Meanwhile, add yogurt, lime juice, and water to the reserved spice mixture; stir to combine.
  6. Divide the chicken and vegetable mixture among 4 bowls. Drizzle with the yogurt dressing and serve.



Vegan Stuffed Peppers
Created by: Shaquay Peacock for Food Network Kitchen


These peppers make a hearty addition to your weekday dinner rotation--Meatless Monday perhaps? The cilantro-lime cream adds a welcome zesty kick.


Ingredients:
For the Peppers:

  • 6 medium sweet bell peppers (can use a variety of colours or all orange)
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Two 14.5-ounce cans chopped tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 14.5-oz can corn kernels, rinsed (or frozen corn)
  • One 14.5-oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro


For Vegan Cilantro-Lime Cream:

  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream or vegan cream cheese
  • 1 tsp lime zest plus 1 TBSP lime juice
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt

 

Instructions:

  1. For the stuffed peppers: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the bell pepper tops, up to about 1/2 inch; discard the stems. Cut the tops into small dice and reserve. Discard the seeds and white membranes from the insides of the peppers. If a pepper doesn't stand upright, trim the bottom until level.\
  3. Add the oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and diced bell pepper and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the tomato mixture to an 8-by-11-inch baking dish and use a spatula or spoon to spread over the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
  5. Add the corn, black beans, spinach, quinoa, chili powder and cumin to the remaining tomato mixture in the sauté pan. Cook on low heat until the spinach is fully wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the cavity of each pepper, packing the mixture in. Arrange the peppers side by side in the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake until the peppers are tender, about 45 minutes.
  7. For the vegan cilantro-lime cream: Whisk together the sour cream, lime zest and juice and cilantro in a small mixing bowl until smooth and combined. Season with salt.
  8. Top the peppers with the cream immediately before serving.

 

Bell Pepper Pasta

Created By: Recipe Garden

Enjoy the easy, healthy and yummy bell pepper pasta for a delicious vegetarian lunch, brunch or dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz Pasta (can use gluten free pasta)
  • 3 bell peppers (can use all orange or a variety of yellow, red & orange)
  • 4 fresh tomatoes
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (adjust as needed)
  • ½ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder or crushed fresh garlic or minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder (optional)
Instructions:

1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, drain the water and keep aside.
2. Add a few drops of olive oil to the cooked pasta, so the shells won't stick to each other.
3. Wash the bell peppers and slice to remove the seeds. Slice the peppers into medium sized pieces (after removing all seeds).
4. Heat oil in a pan and add the bell peppers.
5. Sauté the bell peppers for about 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Meanwhile wash the tomatoes, chop into medium sized pieces and keep aside.
7. Once the peppers are sauteed, add the salt and chopped tomatoes, mix well. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.
8. Add garlic and oregano powder and also turmeric if you are using it and mix all until well blended with the vegetables. Turn off the stove and keep this mixture aside.
9. Add enough marinara sauce to the cooked pasta and mix well, switch on the stove and heat in low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes.
10. Add the bell pepper mixture to the pasta (with the sauce) and mix well. Heat for another 1 minute so everything is blended well and the bell pepper pasta is ready to serve! 


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