Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ingredient of the Day: Red Bell Pepper

Almost all peppers are easily mistaken for spicy vegetables. However, red, yellow, orange and green Bell peppers are anything but hot and spicy. Even more interesting is the fact that they are actually fruits. Loaded with lots of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins C and B-6, Bell peppers are a great low calorie snack.

When preparing a pepper, the first step is to remove the seeds and the interior part of the pepper. I start by slicing off the top and the bottom. Then I make a cut from the top of the pepper to the bottom. Next, I turn my knife so the blade is resting on the pepper’s flesh. I use my knife to slice the soft white/cream colored part of the Bell pepper off completely (the seeds are attached to the soft white part). Finally, I slice the pepper in thin strips. It is always easier to slice peppers from the inside (where the flesh is dull) than it is to slice them from the outside (on the shiny tough outer skin).

Peppers work well as toppings on pizzas, are terrific stuffed and baked, and absolutely wonderful with sizzling chicken in Chicken fajitas. Best of all, Bell peppers are easy to cook with and incredibly fresh and delicious. Try them!