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This month I am looking at Peppers for recipes. If you use them as a main dish or add them to an existing dish, Peppers will add colour and flavour to any dish. They are also ideal for vegetarians and vegans and can be eaten raw as in salads. All coloured Peppers come from the same plant, with the green being the immature and the red being the mature pepper with yellow and orange in between. There is also slight difference in the colours, as the red has twice the Vitamin C as the others and generally the green Pepper is cheaper as its ready sooner. Did you know that the female Pepper has 4 bumps and is slightly sweeter, while the male has 3 bumps and is better for cooking? Below I have added some recipes and you will find my Stuffed Pepper recipe has cabbage instead of rice which I find works better.

Buen Apetito

Stuffed Peppers

½ small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground beef

1 cup cauliflower, ground in a food processor to a rice-like consistency

1 tbsp seasoning (any but beef Oxo is good)

1 can tomato sauce

2 cups cabbage, diced

4 bell Peppers, tops removed and seeds scooped out

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large pan sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes, then add in the ground beef and brown, draining off any fat.  Add the cauliflower, seasoning, tomato sauce, cabbage, salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage is soft. Place the bell Peppers in a baking dish and scoop the mixture into each one, filling to the top.  Any excess meat can be cooked in the bottom of the dish. Bake for approximately 40 minutes

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

4 red bell Peppers (any coloured bell Pepper works)

16oz of mixed vegetables (green vegetables work very well like spinach, cabbage and beans)

4 eggs

Salt and pepper, to taste.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking dish with foil. Cut off the top of each Pepper and remove the seeds. Place Peppers into the dish, and bake for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop veg and boil or steam until soft, drain. Remove Peppers from oven and stuff the bottoms evenly with the veg. Crack an egg into the top ½ of each Pepper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the egg is set and not transparent.

Sausage, Brie and Pepper Bites

2 sheets mini filo shells

1 wheel of Brie cheese

2 Jalapeno & cheese smoked sausage links, sliced into 30 pieces

½ cup diced bell Pepper, any colours you choose

1 tbsp chopped fresh chive

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Place a small hunk of Brie at the bottom of each filo shell (make this hunk a little thicker than the ones you make to go on top. Use ½ of the wheel of Brie for this part.) Place one slice of sausage on top of the cheese. Use the rest of the Brie to place on top of the sausage in thinly sliced pieces, making a crisscross pattern. The Brie will melt down over and under the sausage. Place filled shells on a baking sheet and place in the oven until sheets are slightly browned and cheese is bubbling; about 7-8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with bell Pepper and chives. Serve immediately.

Pressure Cooker Sausage and Pepper

10 Sausages (any sausages but Spanish or Italian works very well)

4 large green bell Peppers, seeded cored and cut into ½ inch strips*

1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes

1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce

1 cup water

1 tbsp basil

2 tsp garlic powder (or 4 minced cloves)

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

In the pressure cooking pot, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, basil, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Add Sausages to the sauce. Place the Peppers on top of the Sausage, but don’t mix.

Lock lid in place and select High Pressure. Set timer for 25 minutes and press start. When beep sounds turn off pressure cooker and use a quick pressure release to release the pressure. When valve drops carefully remove the lid and serve.

Mini Bell Pepper Salad

1lb sweet multi-colored mini bell pepper

½ a medium sweet onion or purple onion, thinly sliced

2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

2½ tbsp white vinegar or fresh lemon juice (I preferred the vinegar)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp garlic salt, or to taste

Pinch of black pepper

Remove the tops and seeds from bell Peppers and then cut them in half lengthwise and cut into thin strips. It was quicker to stack two bell Peppers and cut two halves at a time. Transfer sliced bell Peppers to a large mixing bowl. Thinly slice onion and add it to the bowl along with chopped fresh dill.  Combine vinegar with extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt and a pinch of pepper. Whisk the dressing together with a fork. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and stir well to combine. Add more garlic salt to taste if desired. Serve immediately.