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Good News About Peppers

After learning that one of my networking buddies puts a pinch of cayenne in her coffee and her reasons for it (besides perked up flavor), I did a little research and found that indeed sweet and hot peppers don't just 'wow' your food, they can be good for you. Those who love hot and spicy foods already know that peppers of any kind add great flavor and depth to your foods. While I do love chili peppers I also enjoy the sweet red, green, yellow and orange peppers for their flavor as well as the color they add to your dish.

The American Dietetic Association has said this about peppers:

"Pepper up your health, whether itís green, red or yellow"

Peppers provide a variety of flavors to enhance cooking. Great news: They may also be good for your health. Enhance the flavor of your food by incorporating peppers into your meals. Adding hot peppers to chicken and fish improves the taste and limits the need for added fats or salt. Sweet peppers perk up salads, pasta, rice and meat, fish and poultry.

Peppers are also rich in phytochemicals that appear to provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Preliminary research shows capsaicin may act as a blood thinner. Hot peppers have the highest amount of capsaicin while sweet, green, red or yellow peppers have less. Whatever color you prefer, choose firm, shiny peppers for the best flavor."

I always like hearing something positive about a favorite food. Sweet peppers are particularly delicious in stir fry. They also stretch meals when guests stop by unexpectedly. You were planning to make a meal of corn chips and soda, but now you have to make a dinner. Leftover chicken or beef sliced thinly makes a quick and tasty meal when tossed in with sliced peppers, onion and a little broth or soy sauce. Steam until the peppers and onions are tender. Serve on rice or wide noodles. You'll need a salad also, if a head of iceberg lettuce is all you have in the way of salad fixings don't worry, that's all you need. Hit the lettuce on the table to loosen the core then remove it by gently pulling or cutting it out. Rinse the lettuce and cut it into wedges. Top each wedge with your favorite dressing. Dinner is served. And very nicely done too.



Roasted Peppers

Roasted peppers are good to have on hand and are easy to make. Cut a slit at the stem of each pepper. Use red, green, yellow or orange peppers.

Oven method. Place peppers under broiler (watching carefully) until blackened on all sides. Remove from Broiler. Place peppers in a brown paper bag and twist shut. Leave to steam 4 to 5 minutes. Peel the skin from peppers using butter knife. Remove stem, core and seeds. Do not rinse. Place peppers in a small jar with olive oil. Keep refrigerated. Use within two weeks.

Top of the stove method. Place pepper on a long-handled fork and hold over flame, turning pepper slowly until the skin is blackened. Remove from fire. Follow the above procedure. Great with beef, pork, veal, chicken, other vegetables and pizza.

Of course you can always buy peppers in a jar, but you miss the fun of saying, "I made them myself."

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