Tag Archives: peppers

Sweet and Spicy Pepperonata

Years ago, my friend lived in an amazing apartment in a big old Victorian house in a small town in South Jersey. The first floor of the house was a dentist’s office and his apartment took up the entire second and third floor. Because the office downstairs closed around 5pm every night and on weekends, we never had to worry about parking or how loud the music was. Quite often, we would walk a few blocks to the main street in town and sit at the bar of a shady Italian restaurant. There was nothing particularly charming about the restaurant except for it’s location but they served perfect bread and peppers. I’d never in my life eaten bread and peppers together before (mostly because I rarely ever ate peppers at this time) but these peppers, roasted and oily, served with soft doughy baguette, was the perfect bite for us every single time. The restaurant is no longer there and my friend has long since moved out but we still talk about those bread and peppers. When I saw this recipe for Sweet and Spicy Pepperonata, I knew it wouldn’t be a perfect alternative but it was pretty darn close.

A combination of peppers (I used mini peppers, poblano and long hots) are slowly cooked with shallots until soft and tender. A little sugar, red wine vinegar and fresh thyme are added to give a flavor boost. These peppers aren’t nearly as oily as the peppers from that restaurant but that’s not a bad thing. I served these peppers with some toasted whole grain bread and drizzled a little bit of olive oil over the top (perfection!). But these peppers, with their mild sweetness and heat, would be a perfect accompaniment to chicken or pasta or on a salad, especially if you are trying to eat more vegetables. Plus, just look at those colors! If you want to eat colorfully, you can’t get much more color than this.

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Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add salt, peppers, and shallots; cook 3 minutes or until shallots begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, 20 minutes or until peppers are tender.

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Increase heat to medium-high. Add vinegar, sugar, and thyme; cook 15 minutes or until peppers are tender and shallots are golden brown, stirring occasionally.

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Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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Zucchini and Corn Chili

Sure, maybe the end of summer isn’t exactly the best time to be making chili. But when the main ingredients are zucchini and corn, why not make it in the summer when the produce is at it’s best? For someone like me who travels a lot for work, things like soups, stews and chilis are great to make in advance and store in the freezer so that when you come back from a road trip, a great meal cane be heated up in no time. This Zucchini and Corn Chili came together quickly, freezes beautifully, and is packed with healthy flavor.

Zucchini, corn and onion are cooked with chili powder and cumin before being mixed with canned tomatoes, black beans, vegetable stock, and poblano peppers. The peppers give this chili just enough of a kick while the spices provide that perfect chili flavor. The zucchini, corn and black beans make a great hearty combination in this vegetarian chili. When I’m gone for a week and tired from traveling, knowing that my refrigerator is empty, I’ll be happy to have this chili waiting in the freezer so I can relax and wait another day to do grocery shopping.

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Char the poblano peppers either over an open flame on a gas burner or under the broiler. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Peel, seed and dice the chiles.

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Cut the corn off the cobs. Heat a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-high and add the oil. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

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Add the zucchini, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Stir until the spices are toasted, about 2 minutes. S

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eason with salt and pepper, then stir in half the beans. In a medium bowl, mash the remaining beans with a fork; stir into the vegetables (this will help thicken the chili).

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Add the stock, tomatoes, honey and peppers. Cover and simmer until the flavors combine, 10 to 15 minutes.

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Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Serve with your choice of toppings.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Sausage, Manchego, and Pepper Pizza

My pizza obsession is getting out of control. I’ve been making my own pizza for a while but lately I’ve taken to eating box after box of frozen pizza. Um, I can’t help it. Don’t judge. It’s easy, inexpensive and it tastes so good with beer on a Friday night. Hey – I don’t have a sophisticated palate. My only saving grace is that I’ve kept myself from picking up the phone and having pizza delivered. So, while I’m fooling myself into thinking that eating frozen pizza is better on my waistline (it is to a degree), I know I’m even better off making my own pizza at home where I can control the ingredients. So, here we are with this Sausage, Manchego, and Pepper Pizza I made recently.

Refrigerated pizza dough is glazed with a tasty topping of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and oregano and then topped with chicken sausage, manchego cheese, and fresh yellow bell peppers. A little sprinkling of red pepper flake adds a kick at the end. I was able to portion out this pizza and save some for the next couple days rather than eating the whole thing in one sitting (not that I ever do that – ha!). The balsamic vinegar adds enough flavor to keep this pizza from being bland which sometimes can happen with tomato-less pizzas. The sausage was hearty and the yellow pepper adds a bright, slightly sweet burst. I loved this pizza but that is no surprise. I think I love all pizza. Even the pizza I don’t eat. I heart it.

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Place the dough in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; pierce liberally with a fork. Microwave at HIGH 10 seconds. Discard plastic wrap. Combine garlic, 2 teaspoons oregano, oil, and vinegar in a small bowl.

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Roll pizza dough on a lightly floured surface.

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Carefully remove pizza stone or baking sheet from oven. Sprinkle cornmeal over pizza stone; arrange dough on stone. Brush dough evenly with oil mixture; top with sausage, bell pepper, and cheese.

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Bake at 450°F for 13 minutes or until edges are browned. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon oregano and crushed red pepper.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Basil

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Chunky Turkey and Veggie Chili

I think I’m a little bit obsessed with this chili. I’ve been eating a bowl of it every single day. And when it ran out? I made another batch. And another. All of this started because I had one lonely zucchini sitting in my produce drawer that I wanted to do something with. After taking a look around, I realized all the other vegetables I had on hand and decided right then and there to throw them all in a chili. I happened to have canned tomatoes and ground turkey on hand anyway so it was a no brainer. The result is this Chunky Turkey and Veggie Chili.

Onion, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini, and carrot are all sautéed with ground turkey until the veggies are soft and the turkey is cooked through. A few spices are added along with canned tomatoes and chipotle in adobo sauce and then the whole pot simmers until the flavors meld and the chili is hot and bubbly. I’ve made this chili with both ground turkey and ground chicken and have no preference. Want to use ground beef? Go right ahead! Chili is so easy to make and easily adaptable to accommodate picky eaters. Make it with beans, or don’t. Make it with meat, or don’t. Make it spicy, or don’t. I’ve been making a batch every single week for the last month. I portion it out immediately into containers to keep in the refrigerator so that I can grab one at lunch and heat it up quickly. What I love about chili (especially in the winter) is that it’s satisfying. I’m never let down and always feel warm and comforted when I’m done. Chili, you have my heart.

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Chunky Turkey and Veggie Chili (makes 5 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium, red pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or ground chicken)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (or regular chile powder)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

Melt coconut oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper, red pepper, zucchini, and carrot. Cook until vegetables soften, approximately 6 minutes.

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Add ground turkey, salt, and pepper and cook for 10 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.

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Stir in chile powder and dried oregano.

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Add tomatoes and chipotle pepper in adobo sauce; stir. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Top with sour cream, cilantro, cheese, green onions or any of your favorite chili toppings.

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Chicken Curry

How do you feel about take-out? When someone says “take-out” to me, my mouth waters. Take-out for me is typically Chinese food but in my head, it’s anything satisfying, flavorful, and non-American. When I was in London a few weeks ago, I had dinner at an Indian restaurant and we ordered a bunch of dishes for the table. Every single dish was so insanely good, I was in heaven. Since I wasn’t aware of any really good Indian restaurants nearby, I decided to make this Chicken Curry at home.

Chicken and bell peppers are sautéed before being mixed with a mixture of coconut milk, red curry paste, lime juice and soy sauce which is cooked until thick and bubbly. The result is a lively yet mellow chicken curry that really hit the spot. Red curry paste has a mellower flavor (in my opinion) than curry powder and isn’t as overwhelming on the senses. The coconut milk is creamy and subtle and makes for a perfect base for this sauce. This dish is an ideal example of something I would want for take-out. Luckily, a new Indian restaurant opened up right next door to my Chinese go-to. I stopped to look at the menu last time I was there and I’m pretty sure I know where my next take-out order is coming from.

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Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes or until browned, turning once.

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Add bell pepper to pan; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Remove chicken mixture from pan. Combine juice, soy sauce, curry paste, and sugar in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add juice mixture and coconut milk to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 12 minutes or until slightly thick. Return chicken mixture to pan; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

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Serve over rice.

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Additions:

  • Red bell pepper

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Cajun Turkey Sliders with Spicy Remoulade

So the big game is this weekend. May you care. Maybe you don’t. I care only because I love football and hate to see the season end but don’t care because I could care less who wins. I won’t be attending any parties this weekend but if you are (or are hosting, you crazy person!), these Cajun Turkey Sliders with Spicy Remoulade are mighty tasty and who doesn’t love a slider for the big game?

Ground turkey is mixed with scallions and hot sauce and also spiced up with a little Cajun seasoning. After being sprinkled with even more seasoning before cooking, these sliders are cooked and topped with sautéed peppers and onion adding yet even more flavor. The remoulade, which is slathered onto the bun, packs its own punch with flavors from pickle relish, spicy mustard, parsley, hot sauce, and lemon. I used leftover remoulade on anything I could, that was how much I loved it. These sliders are packed with flavor and whether you make them for the game or not, they are sure to be a hit.

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In a very large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-low heat. Add sweet peppers and onion; cook about 10 minutes or until very soft and tender. Remove from skillet; keep warm.

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In a large bowl, combine turkey, green onions, Cajun seasoning, bottled hot pepper sauce, salt, and black pepper; mix well. Form into 12 patties slightly larger than the buns. Sprinkle both sides of each patty generously with Old Bay® seasoning. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add patties; cook about 8 minutes or until done (165 degrees F), turning once halfway through cooking time.

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For the remoulade, combine mayonnaise, pickle relish, capers, mustard, parsley, bottled hot pepper sauce, and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

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Serve in buns with sweet pepper mixture and Spicy Remoulade. Makes 12 sliders.

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Additions: None

Omissions:

  • Onion
  • Capers

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Better Homes & Garden magazine

Sausage, Feta, and Kale Frittata

I know the holidays aren’t technically over but food-wise, for me they are. After being pretty good at home before heading to my sister’s in Texas before Christmas, I had one good day where I stayed on track, keeping away from the cookies and watching my carbs. But then, poof! The next day was all downhill. Cookie after cookie went into my mouth and I couldn’t stop for days. And then I spent the entire flight home eating ALL of the chocolate that was in my stocking because I wouldn’t let myself eat it when I got home. So now I am home and watching everything that I eat. This Sausage, Feta, and Kale Frittata will be a good start to my mornings this week while I get myself back on track.

Leafy kale, crisp red pepper, spicy turkey sausage and tangy feta cheese make up this frittata which is so easy and quick to prepare. Frittatas are such a great option for breakfast because they take no time to make, are easy to portion out, and are quick to reheat when you are on the go. This frittata has some of my favorite veggies but spinach, onion, asparagus, broccoli and any favorite cheese could be substituted. I’m happy to have this for breakfast each morning. Although eating those cookies for breakfast was pretty fun too.

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Preheat broiler to high. Combine egg whites, eggs, salt, pepper, and milk; stir with a whisk.

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Heat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over ­medium heat. Sauté kale in olive oil until tender. Layer in sausage and bell pepper.

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Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

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Carefully pour egg mixture over cheese.

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Cook over medium heat 5 to 6 ­minutes or until eggs are partially set; then broil 5 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned and almost set.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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