Ravenous for Red Peppers

Raveneous for red peppers

Out of ideas to spice up your meals? Here’s how you can get creative with red bell peppers.

Did you know that red bell peppers are botanically classified as a fruit? This is simply because it contains seeds. With their sweet taste, crunchy texture and glossy exterior, red bell peppers are not only nutritious but also appetising and pleasing to the eye. Since they can be eaten raw or cooked, it’s actually very easy to include them in your everyday meals. Here are two simple, delicious recipes to get you started.

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

Ingredients

3                           Red bell peppers (About 450 grams)

1/3 Cup                Bread crumbs

3/4 Cup                Toasted walnuts, plus more for garnish

1 ½ Tsp                 Paprika

3/4 Tsp                  Cumin

1 Tbs                     Balsamic vinegar

1 Tbs                     Freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tsp                     Extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish

3/4 Tsp                  Salt

As needed            Ground black pepper

As needed            Chopped parsley, to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230.
  2. Roast the peppers in the oven for 30 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and grounded black pepper.  Once cooked, allow to cool, then peel, and discard skins, stems and seeds.*
  3. Combine walnuts and bread crumbs into a food processor and process until fine crumbs form.
  4. Then, add the paprika, cumin, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, seasoning and the peppers and pulse until combined.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight before serving. To serve, drizzle some olive oil and top with chopped walnuts and parsley.
  6. Best served with tortilla chips and as a spread for sandwiches.

Vegan Pepper Pasta

Vegan Pepper Pasta

3 servings

Ingredients

2                             Red bell peppers (About 240 grams)

3 Tbs                     Olive oil

2                             Finely chopped shallots

4                             Finely chopped garlic

1 ½ Cup                 Unsweetened almond milk

4 Tbs                      Nutritional yeast*

1 ½ Tbs                  Corn starch

1 ½ Tsp                  Cayenne pepper

340 gm                  Dried pasta (spaghetti, linguini or other noodle of choice)

As needed             Chopped parsley, for garnishing

As needed             Lemon slices

Seasoning             Salt and grounded black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230.
  2. Roast the peppers in the oven for 30 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and ground black pepper.  Once cooked, allow to cool, then peel, and discard skins, stems and seeds.**
  3. Cook pasta according to the package instructions; drain, toss in a touch of olive oil and set aside.
  4. While the peppers are roasting, bring a large pan over a medium heat and sauté the shallots and garlic with olive oil until golden brown and soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Transfer the sautéed shallot and garlic to a blender or food processor with the roasted peppers, almond milk, nutritional yeast, corn starch, cayenne pepper and seasoning; blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Once blended, add the sauce back in the pan over medium heat to thicken. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until it reaches desired thickness.
  7. Add pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Serve hot with a slice of lemon and parsley.

*For Non Vegans

Feel free to substitute Parmesan Cheese for nutritional yeast.

**Easy tip for peeling the pepper skin

Once cooked, remove from the oven, immediately place in a bowl and tightly wrap with clingform wrap. Let it stand for 15-20 minutes before peeling.

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