Add Some Pep to Your Diet

Add Some Pep to Your Diet

I’m a recent convert to the school of peppers. For so long, I unreasonably believed peppers to be palate-destroyingly spicy, no matter what the variety. A green pepper, a jalapeño—they were all the same to me. But when I found out that one small red, yellow, or orange pepper can give you up to three times your daily requirement of vitamin C, I was sold. Turns out that bell peppers are not synonymous with chili peppers!

You’re lucky this month, because bell peppers are in season. Go to your nearest grocery store or farmer’s market and pick peppers with thick, juicy flesh. They should almost feel too heavy for their size. If you go to the grocery store, I’d advise you to buy organic—peppers are farmed with an inordinate amount of pesticides, more so than other fruits and vegetables.

On to the recipes!


The Barefoot Bloggers are doing this neat thing where they test recipes from Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. This time last year, the recipe was panzanella, and Aggie’s Kitchen includes both red and yellow bell peppers in the mix—and “mix” is exactly the right word for this dish. It kind of reminds me of ratatouille

Chile-Spiced Pulled Pork Goulash, aka Sloppy José

After making the pulled pork base, Dinner with Julie says you can take this recipe in one of two directions: “1) add a can of beans and call it chili, or 2) add a few spoonfuls of low fat sour cream, serve it over buttered noodles and call it goulash.” I love recipes like this! Also, I’m excited to see all the different peppers that go into this dish: guajillo chiles, ancho chiles, red peppers, yellow peppers…I’ve only heard of two of those peppers, and I’ll let you guess which two I’m talking about.

Red Onion, Feta, and Red Pepper Pizza

You might remember Florence from such great Borzoi Cooks expeditions as Shopsin’s pancakes and Julia Child’s ratatouille. Florence also has a great blog called eating well on seven dollars a day, which serves as a constant inspiration to me, who can’t manage to cook dinner for less than thirty dollars. This pizza’s toppings are a great idea, and with the cost of the ingredients spread over five days (yay leftovers), each serving will only cost $1.41! Spectacular.

For those of you yearning to marry your love of seasonal vegetables with your love for Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I again remind you that Child’s ratatouille recipe is a great way to use your summer vegetables. But if you’d like your peppers to really shine, try them à la grecque, simmered in a bouillon of water, oil, herbs, and seasonings. Julia Child would approve, and if you record the experience, you could win your own copy of Mastering the Art!