I know I don’t often talk about it since I’m usually so busy hammering out new recipes to share with you lovely people, but in addition to my being a culinary genius Chihuahua chef, I am also a well-educated Nutrition and Dietetics master guru. Yes, it’s true. I am the TeenyLittleSuperNutritionist as well. Therefore, I would like to dedicate this particular blog post to talking about the nutritional components of one of the ingredients in the recipe I am going to share with you today.
First up, the mighty bell pepper. Ahh yes, what a powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients this fabulous vegetable is. And with all the different colors of the rainbow bell peppers can be found in, they attribute a huge splash of color to many of your dinner and side dishes. Starting at green, which is the least mature, lowest in nutrients and often least expensive, all the way up to purple, you can pretty much find a bell pepper to fit your every color preference and palette. One cup of sliced green bell peppers contains nearly 180% of a person’s daily recommended value of Vitamin C. That’s more than can be found in a medium-sized orange. Better yet, one single cup of sliced red bell peppers contains 317% of the daily recommended valus of Vitamin C and around 93% of your daily recommended Vitamin A! Not too shabby, especially considering it only clocks in at 40 in the calorie department. Basically, an incredibly healthy way to up the flavor and nutrients in a dish without causing your belt to be put up a knotch. If you would like to read more fun health and nutrition facts about the bell pepper, check out this website: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=50 There are so many easy ways to incorporate bell peppers into your diet, too. While eating them plain might seem rather boring, there are a lot of fun ways you can jazz em up, such as: dipping them in a tub of hummus, putting them on your daily sandwich, throwing them in a green salad, adding them to a pasta sauce, incorporating them with your tuna salad, roasting and pureeing them with some yogurt for a low-fat dip/spread… the possibilities are endless. Just don’t use them as a topping for an ice cream sundae. Didn’t go over well in mi casa, probably wouldn’t in your’s. (sorry Papa)
And just in case you’re still not convinced how easy it is to incorporate more bell peppers into your diet, I’ll be a little prince and help you out. I present to you my famous TeenyLittleSuperChef Stuffed Bell Peppers.
Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers
(or perhaps it should be called, Bell Peppers Stuffed by a Mexican?)
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 1/2 cups water
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb ground turkey ( I use 98% fat-free skinless, boneless turkey)
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
14 1/2 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
8 oz tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
splash of hot pepper sauce, like Chalula
3 bell peppers, any colors, cut in half lengthwise
low-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
*This dish could easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the turkey and either adding lentils, soy crumbles or more beans.
1) In a medium-sized pot, cook brown rice with 2 1/2 cups water until tender (about 30-35 minutes).
2) While rice cooks, heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey, onion and garlic and cook until turkey is no longer pink and onions are soft.
3) Add in diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasonings and set temperature to medium-low.
4) When rice is done, add it to turkey mixture and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6) Place bell pepper halves cut-side up in a small casserole dish. Stuff each half with the turkey mixture.
7) Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes or until bell peppers are tender.
8) Top with shredded cheese and bake an additional 3-5 minutes until cheese is melty.
9) Place on individual plates, top with additional onions or sour cream and devour!
Now if that doesn’t convince you to eat a bell pepper, please e-mail me as soon as possible, because there must be something serioulsy crazy going on in your brain. And while I am not a trained psychiatric professional (yet), I would like to help.
That’s all for this teeny guy for now. I need to be going as I have a gig tonight with my mariachi band.