The world of peppers

Peppers have many positive aspects. They’re low in calories and are loaded with good nutrition. All varieties are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber, according to the medical experts.

Peppers come in all sizes and colors. Some pack heat. Others are sweet. You can get them fresh, frozen, dried, or canned.

You’ve seen bell peppers — green, orange, yellow, and red — in the grocery store or in a salad bar. Red peppers pack the most nutrition, because they’ve been on the vine longest.

Green peppers are harvested earlier, before they have a chance to turn yellow, orange, and then red. Compared to green bell peppers, the red ones have 1.5 times more vitamin C.

Peppers are also very versatile. You can add raw ones to everything from dips and salads to pasta dishes. Roasting peppers is easy and delicious, as is their usage in a stir-fry. Or you can eat them stuffed with turkey for a healthy alternative to ground beef. Here’s how you can prepare them.

 

Stuffed Peppers (Eating Well)

 

Lean ground turkey makes a moist, low-fat substitute for the ground beef that’s usually found in stuffed pepper filling. To add a nutty flavor and boost the nutrition even further, we call for cooked brown rice, but this recipe will also work with white rice.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 large green bell peppers
  • 1½ teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1½ cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce, (1 cup), divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt, (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Preparation

 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cut out stem ends of bell peppers and discard. Scoop out seeds. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot and blanch the peppers until tender-crisp, about 1 minute. Drain and cool under cold running water. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add turkey and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, just until it loses its pink color, about 2 minutes. Drain the fat.
  • Transfer the turkey mixture to a medium bowl and mix in rice, ½ cup tomato sauce, parsley, salt (if using) and pepper. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and place them in a 2-quart casserole dish. Spoon the remaining ½ cup tomato sauce over the peppers. Cover and bake until the peppers are tender and the filling is heated through, 30 to 35 minutes.

Enjoy!