Written by Carol Harrison
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association (Half Your Plate folks) hired me to work on a recipe and video series and I’m delighted to share it here with you!
Bell peppers get their name from the “bell” shape which makes a handy vessel for dips and hearty fillings. And thanks to greenhouse and field varieties, peppers are available all year long. So how can you enjoy these vitamin C-packed veggies more often throughout the year without getting bored? Ideas and recipes galore here folks, plus the one thing to avoid when storing peppers.
Switch up the way you typically prepare bell peppers and presto it’s like a new food. Let’s think seasonally. Try them:
- Stir fried with mushrooms and asparagus
- Baked whole with an egg (see recipe below)
- Grilled with zucchini and eggplant to use on a pizza or in a Buddha bowl
- Cut into “boat” shapes and filled with bean salad (see recipe below)
- Sautéd with carrots for a brekkie hash
- Raw, chopped into a salsa to enjoy with baked pita chips (see recipe below)
- Roasted to add to sandwiches, frittatas or blitz into a soup
- Stuffed with Tex-Mex beef-n-beans
- Stewed with lentils and tomatoes and topped with a fried egg
- Roasted (sheet pan dinner) with green beans, lentils and trout (see recipe below)
You can also look to Mexican, Italian, French and Indian cuisines for interesting ways to prepare peppers.
Now, if you like to whip up your own dishes, try a new flavour booster. Bell peppers go great with:
- Basil, flat leaf parsley, cilantro, lemongrass;
- Thyme, rosemary, fennel and Tobasco sauce;
- Smoked paprika, mustard, curry, cumin.
Wondering what colour bell peppers are the most nutritious? Red is king for vitamins A and C. In just ½ red pepper, you get 47% of the Daily Value for vitamin A (7 times more than green pepper) and a whopping 158% Daily Value for vitamin C. And ½ green pepper provides 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin C. Impressive right?
So what’s the one thing you want to avoid when storing peppers? Water is the worst enemy for peppers causing decay to quickly set in. That’s why it’s better to wash your peppers just before you use them, a great tip from a greenhouse veggie farmer I know in southern Ontario.
OK last good to know tip to curb food waste. Green peppers tend to last the longest so use up the red, yellow and orange peppers first. Stored in a plastic bag in the crisper of the fridge:
- whole raw peppers keep for 1-2 weeks;
- raw chopped 2-3 days and;
- cooked 3-5 days.
So no excuses folks – use those peppers up before they go to waste!
Get Cooking with Bell Peppers Video here
Stuffed bell peppers gives you a serving of veggies right out of the gate first thing in the morning. You gotta love that!
LUNCH Bell Pepper Boats
When peppers are cut top to bottom in 6 segments, you get finger-like “boats” perfect for filling with this bean and pepper salad recipe. See more filler ideas with the recipe.
DINNER Trout Sheet Pan Dinner
15 minutes in the oven, tastes awesome, uber healthy and one sheet pan to clean. Need I say more?
Here’s a great way to work more veggies into your snacks. To make it a mini-meal serve with cheesy pita crisps.
What awesome ideas do you have to share for using bell peppers?