Happy Monday friends! A week from today marks Memorial Day, the official kick-off to Summer. I don’t know about you but during the Summer months I’m constantly looking for healthy snack ideas and lighter fare for dinner. Red, orange, yellow, green, raw or cooked, bell peppers are the perfect pick. Whether they serve as a cracker substitute for your favorite healthy dip or as the main course of your meal, peppers are an excellent, healthy choice.

Today is all about bell peppers. And if you stick around until the end, I’m sharing two of my favorite pepper recipes. Low calorie, no fuss, delicious staples to add to your Summer snacks and meals.

Bell peppers are actually fruits that belong to the nightshade family. They can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on their ripeness taste savory or sweet and like their relatives the chili peppers, can sometimes be dried and powdered and present themselves as paprika.

Bell peppers are low in calories and exceptionally high in vitamin C and antioxidants which makes them an overall great food choice. An added bonus is that they are beautiful! Peppers (however you serve them) really add a lot of color to any appetizer tray or dinner plate.

Did you know that…?

Bell peppers are LOADED with Vitamin C? Just one medium size pepper has close to 200% of your recommended daily allowance. A natural way to really boost your immune system!

If you are anemic (low in iron) you should be eating peppers! Eating peppers will help your body absorb more iron from your food. Stock up when they are in season! Ripe, fresh, and SO good for your body.
Peppers may really help with eye health! To prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, get crunching! Peppers have ample amounts of carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin which are crucial in terms of eye health and protecting your retina!

Peppers are a great source of potassium. You know how passionate I am about blood pressure. The potassium in peppers has been linked to preventing stroke, lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease.

Another love of mine is fiber! If you’ve been following me here for a while now you know how important I think it is to stay “regular”. Peppers are mainly composed of water (92%) and are FULL of fiber which makes them an excellent way to naturally help clean out your system!

With very few calories (31 for a medium size pepper) and an extraordinary amount of health benefits, peppers are an excellent choice for snacking, roasting, baking, grilling and more.

This time of year, I stock up on fresh peppers and most days I can hardly wait to cut them up. A good wash and I dive in as if they were an apple!

Crunchy, delicious, filling and nutritious, pick peppers for your Summer snacks and meals. If you make either of the recipes I’m sharing below, let me know how you like them! Xx Janine

 

Janine’s Roasted Tahini Dip

This roasted tahini dip is probably my favorite thing ever to dip bell peppers in. However, I use it for lots of other things too…as a sauce for roasted veggies and also mixed in with my daily salads. It’s incredibly easy to make, vegan, dairy-free and absolutely light and delicious!

Ingredients

1/2 cup Plain Roasted Tahini – (I buy Roasted Plain Tahini in a jar). Make sure you mix it well with small whisk if the oil separates from the sesame paste.

1/2 cup warm water

2 cloves fresh garlic – peeled

1/2 – 1 lemon – squeeze juice

1/4 teaspoon Cumin

10-15 mint leaves

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a small blender/bullet or use a small Cuisinart (which I use) until the dip is the consistency you like.

Add more warm water if the dip is too thick – sometimes I like mine a bit thinner so I add another 1/4 cup of warm water.

Enjoy right away or store in the fridge for at least a week if not more.

Roasted Peppers from Janine’s Kitchen

 

This recipe for roasted peppers with basil, garlic and tomatoes is a favorite in my house. It’s simple to make, tastes even better as leftovers and makes for a beautiful, impressive presentation on the table. I really hope you make this one for the ones you love this Summer!

Ingredients

Large roasting pan (I use the silver disposable ones for easy clean-up)

4 large (red or yellow or orange bell peppers)

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

4 cloves garlic – chopped

3 plum tomatoes – chopped

1 cup fresh basil – chopped

Instructions

Cut peppers length ways and gently remove all the seeds. Keep the stems on if you want them for presentation.

Place cut peppers in roasting tin – the inside of the pepper facing up to hold the ingredients.

Add 1 Teaspoon of Olive oil and 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar into each pepper.

Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic into each pepper – evenly.

Place peppers in oven on 400 degrees or 375 convection – roast for about 45 minutes or until the peppers are brown on the sides and wilted.

Remove from the oven and add the chopped basil to each pepper – mix it in each one.

Drizzle with Balsamic glaze if you have it.
Let cool and eat! Or put in Tupperware and eat within the week – they last a long time and get better with age.