Tag Archives: bell peppers

What’s in the Box? #40

 

Break out the gag gifts, inflate a bunch of balloons and get the party favors ready, because What’s in the Box is Over the Hill!  That means I have drooled over, gushed about and enjoyed around 400 varieties of fruits and veggies during the last 9 months.  And each and every piece of produce has been divine!  The fun part about this milestone is, that like a good bottle of wine, as we move forward on this journey together, it is only going to get better :)  The more I receive fresh, local produce, the more I learn how to cook, enjoy and prepare it.  And now that I have you all partying with me…well, I have more ideas than I know what to do with!  So, WITB…40 is looking real good on you :)

Last week might have been a small turnout (compared to some of our recent parties) with 33 link ups, but each and every post was chock full of delicious CSA goodness.  And tomatoes stole the show!  Everything from Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Crepes a la Piperade, Vodka Sauce and Tomato Cobbler.  Truth be told, I wasn’t always a fan of tomatoes, but I’m definitely warming up to them.  And these recipes have me drooling over tomatoes now!  Thanks to everyone who participated in the link party last week.  I appreciate your continued support and creative ideas.

Now it’s time to check out the contents of my Over the Hill box…

Speaking of tomatoes…check out those yellow tomatoes.  I was stumped when I first saw them.  I have never encountered a tomato of that shape and the color made me think it was a pepper or other type of fruit.  So I had to take a bite out of one to make sure it was indeed a tomato.  Score!  I was on my way to the store to pick up some tomatoes for the rest of my meal plans this week and was happy to get some freshly picked ones instead.  Love when that happens :)

I was excited to see another bulb of elephant garlic again.  Although I still haven’t made my way through the last bulb.  Guess I will have to get on that or else I will have garlic coming out of my ears!

After a ton of pluots in my box this summer, I finally got my favorite variety…Flavor Granade Pluots.  I love the color and I love the flavor.  They make for such a yummy and refreshing snack, it’s hard to eat just one.  If I wanted to be naughty, I would make this tart.  Blows my crumble out of the water!

I am loving those little tiny grapes.  I almost didn’t think they were real.  They look like the plastic grapes you see used as decoration.  Harper and I grabbed a handful and gave them a try.  Crunchy and sweet!  I will have to look for this Red Flame variety in the future.

And while we are on the subject of grapes…these grapefruits look mighty nice!  There is nothing like a tart, juicy grapefruit to start your morning off right.  I find that it rounds out my meals with eggs quite nicely.  I will have to try my best to fit it into my meal plan this week.

As for the rest of the haul…The green beans and red bell peppers were cooked up tonight for lunches tomorrow.  Stay tuned for a clean eating post with details.  Expect to see the corn, carrots and Romaine lettuce in the next few days as well.  Lots of delicious and fresh meals on the horizon.

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!  PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post.  Thanks!


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Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are available all year round, but it is in the fall when they are at their best.  They’re colors are so rich and vibrant, they can brighten up any dish.  Besides their appearance, bell peppers add a lovely combination of  sweet and bitter flavors that help complement other ingredients.  Plus, they have significant health benefits such as being a good source of vitamin C, beta carotene and folic acid.  So really, you can’t go wrong with bell peppers.

I was so excited to get peppers and shallots in my box this week.  It made this meal a no brainer.  I love it when things come together.  The only ingredients I had to pick up at the market were the chicken and the potatoes.  One of the perks of having a plot in the community garden is that you have access to the community herbs that grow there as well.  So Harper and I took a nice walk down to the garden to pick some rosemary off the bush.  Doesn’t get any fresher than that!

Even though bell peppers are a fabulous vegetable on their own, I can never eat a meal without some greenery on my plate.  So I decided to sauté some rainbow chard to serve on the side.  I heated some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Then I added a combination of shallots and onions and cooked until they were tender.  After washing the chard and removing the inner stem, I gave a rough chop to the leaves and added it to the pan.  I poured in a 1/2 cup of chicken broth and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the chard was nice and soft.  So easy and delicious!

Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers

Ingredients

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Cooking spray

2 cups thinly sliced yellow bell pepper

1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large)

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 cup fat-free, less sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees,

2.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano.  Brush chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle spice rub over chicken.  Add 1 1.2 teaspoons oil to pan.  Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until browned.  Turn chicken over; cook 1 minute.  Arrange chicken in an 11×7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until done.

3.  Heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper, shallots, and rosemary; sauté 3 minutes.  Stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high.  Stir in vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Serve bell pepper mixture over chicken.

Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds peeled Yukon gold potatoes

1/3 cup 2% milk

3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain; return to pan.  Add milk, cheese and salt.  Mash to desired consistency.

Recipes from Cooking Light via MyRecipes.com

When I look at this dish, it reminds me of fall…on a plate!  The reds, yellows, and oranges with a hint of green bring to mind the beautiful colors of autumn leaves.  It’s the perfect dinner for the season!

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What’s in the Box? #3

Skittles got nothing on me.  When I opened up my box today, I was waiting for a little leprechaun to jump out with a pot of gold.  This is what it means to eat the rainbow.

But before we go on to talk about healthy things, let’s get back to those Skittles.  I mean, really, who eats every color?  I for one, go for the reds first, then a few purples, possibly a yellow or green, but never an orange.  When I was a kid, I would always “share” the rest of my Skittles with my brother (can you still call it sharing if you are simply giving someone your leftovers?).  Turns out I did him a favor, because now he always goes for the colors no one likes first, the purples, oranges, yellows, when the rest of the group always wants the red.  Therefore he always gets what he wants :)

Anyways, I digress.  Back to my fruits and veggies.  Is that not the most beautiful sight?  And to top it off, they gave me rainbow chard!  So we are definitely in a rainbow mood today.

So many delicious options, I don’t even know where to start!  But I have to say, I was excited to see my little mandarins again.  I have been fighting a nasty cold, and these tiny gems deliver me with a nice dose of Vitamin C.  Though, not as much as those vibrantly green pineapple guavas.  They are in the top 10 for having the most Vitamin C found in a plant source.  So looks like I am in good hands.  The jury is still out on the guavas as to whether I will eat them raw or find a yummy dish in which to incorporate them.  But regardless of how they end up, my tummy is sure to be happy.

There is nothing like the tartness of a granny smith apple.  My mouth begins to water when I look at one.  The taste is so distinctive. I have so many delicious savory dishes in which I could use these.  But chances are I will make another dessert for Freddie, as he has his eye on an apple cake he would like to try.  We’ll see how it turns out.  I will have to make sure I leave at least one apple leftover though.  It is one of my favorite ingredients to throw into a side salad.  And that green leaf lettuce is calling my name.

One look at those sweet potatoes and I was in heaven.  I have had a strong craving for some sweet potatoes lately.  It’s definitely the time of year.  Sweet potatoes are always one of my favorite sides at Thanksgiving Dinner.  But of course, I never limit their appearance to that meal only.  I like to eat sweet potatoes all year round!  And with the leftover butternut squash I have yet to use up, I have a feeling these two will be having a rendezvous in the near future.

I love it when I get different ingredients in my box that can be used for the same recipe.  These bell peppers and shallots will work perfectly in a yummy chicken recipe I have planned.  This one is sure to be a post in the coming week.  The chard will probably make an appearance in that meal too since it has been a while since I have sautéed some chard as a side dish.  The last few times I have gotten chard I have experimented with other ways to prepare it.  All of which were a success but it never hurts to go back to an old classic.

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.  I can’t seem to shake them!  I just used the ones for the last two weeks in a delicious Bolognese recipe I found.  It’s rare to find tomato sauce recipes with fresh tomatoes.  Most of them call for canned.  So I was excited to see how it would turn out.  Plus, the recipe called for 2 lbs of tomatoes which is exactly how much I had.  Success!  I said last week I would make my homemade tomato sauce, and ended up trying something new.  Maybe I will go with my original plan but find a new way to use it, since we are little “pasta-ed” out at the moment.

Finally, turnips.  I can’t say I am very familiar with this vegetable.  But looking online, there seems to be a million ways to prepare them.  I am excited to see what will come of this experiment :)

Looks like I will have a colorful week ahead of me.  And who knows, the leprechaun might still show his face when I get to the end of the fruit and veggie rainbow!

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