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September 2006 Issue
Bell Peppers
by J. Sinclair
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When I was a kid, my mom had to fight with me to get me to eat peppers. Several decades later, you would never know that I didn't have a love affair with them! They are tasty, flexible and very good for you too. What more could you ask for?

Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C. If you thought citrus fruits packed a powerful punch when it comes to being a good source of vitamin C, peppers have them beat. Green peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C by weight than citrus fruits, and this powerful punch of vitamin C is an antioxidant that may be effective in preventing certain cancers. Red bell peppers have three times as much vitamin C as the green varieties and are a good source of beta carotene as well.

Bell peppers are available and are in good supply all year, but they are more plentiful and less expensive during the summer months. Some of the finest selection is available right now! Fresh peppers come in variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, but when selecting them, they all follow the same guidelines. Their skin should be firm without any wrinkles, and the stem should be fresh and green. They should feel heavy for their size. Avoid peppers with sunken areas, slashes or black spots.

While there are many, many ways to enjoy bell peppers, one of my favorite ways to enjoy them involves hollowing them out and stuffing them with fantastic fillings. Below is one of my favorites -- hard to beat such wonderful flavors! Enjoy.

 

Creole Stuffed Peppers

  • 3 large green bell peppers, seeded and halved lengthwise
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 teaspoon onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup hot water
Cut the bacon into quarters, reserving 6 pieces to top the peppers. Fry the remaining bacon with the onion until crispy; add the tomatoes to the mixture. Add the rice, salt, and pepper; blend well. Spoon the mixture into the pepper halves, topping each with the remaining 1/4 bacon slice.

Place the peppers in a baking dish; add water to the dish, and cover. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
 



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