Friday, June 15, 2012

Veggie of the Week: Green Bell Peppers

Bell peppers have been grown for more than 9,000 years starting in South and Central America. The original name for this vegetable in Spanish was pimiento. European colonizers gave it the name pepper when they came across it in the 1500's and 1600's and took it back to Europe. Bell peppers can be grown in a variety of climates and are therefore found in many cuisines.

Bell peppers have a remarkable amount of vitamin C (almost double the necessary daily value), vitamin A, and folate. There has been a lot of research on the amazing phytonutrient antioxidants in bell peppers like flavonoids, carotenoids, and hydroxycinnamic acids, but not a lot on risk reduction for diseases. It is expected to see bell peppers aiding in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, eye health, and even cancer. Be sure to keep bell peppers in your diet and keep an eye out for potential health benefits!

Homestyle Stuffed Peppers

Prep time: 30 min.   Cook time: 1hr. 25 min.   Serves: 4


  • 4 green bell peppers, tops and seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 c. cooked white rice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

  • Directions:

  • 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • 2. Cook the peppers in boiling water until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • 3. Remove peppers from boiling water and rinse with cold water; set peppers aside to drain.
  • 4. Mix together ground beef, cooked white rice, lightly beaten egg, finely chopped onion, Italian-style bread crumbs, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese in a large bowl until evenly mixed.
  • 5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • 6. Divide beef and rice mixture among peppers; stuff each pepper with beef and rice mixture.
  • 7. Place peppers open side up in a 9x13-inch baking dish or shallow roasting pan.
  • 8. Combine tomato sauce and white vinegar in a bowl.
  • 9. Pour tomato mixture over stuffed peppers.
  • 10. Top with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
  • 11. Bake in the preheated oven until heated through, basting the peppers two or three times while baking, about 80 minutes.

  • Marinated Peppers 

  • Recipe:
  • Prep time: 30 min.   Cook time: 45 min.   Serves: 3

  • Ingredients:

    • 1 red bell pepper
    • 1 green bell pepper
    • 1 yellow bell pepper
    • 1 1/2 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
    • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
    • salt and pepper to taste


    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place the whole red, green and yellow peppers in the oven directly on the rack. Roast for about 15 minutes, turning if needed, until the skin is well scorched. Immediately place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or in a paper bag, and allow to cool.
    2. Remove the skins from the peppers by rubbing with your hands, and rinse under cold water. Cut in half, remove stem and seeds, then cut into strips.
    3. Place peppers into a medium serving bowl, and stir in the garlic, vinegar, oil, basil, parsley, salt and pepper.

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