I didn’t discover peppers as a vegetable until I was an adult, but most people today use them all the time. My grandchildren love to eat them raw and I think the different colours help to make them attractive.

They can be stuffed, wrapped, stewed or diced. They are a very versatile vegetable which can be used in salads, casseroles, on kebabs or wrapped in a fajita. Below are a few simple recipes using peppers for you to try. The simple fajita recipe is a favourite in our house and can be eaten hot or cold as a main meal of snack.
Buen Apetito

Stuffed Peppers

6 medium green bell peppers
½ pound ground cooked pork
½ pound ground cooked ham
1 chopped onion
4 mushrooms (optional)
4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup tomato juice

Cut slice from stem ends of peppers. Remove fibrous portion and seeds. Wash. Part boil for about 5 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain.

Place meats, onion and breadcrumbs in medium mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add seasonings and tomato juice, stirring to combine.
Fill green peppers with meat mixture and arrange upright in muffin-pan cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350ºF for about 30 minutes or until peppers are tender. Serve hot.

Vegetable Rice

2 tblsp extra-virgin oil
1 small dried red chilli pepper,
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lg ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 medium courgette, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups short-grain white rice
3 cups vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth

Heat oil in a 12 inch cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add chilli pepper, onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, but not browned (about 6 mins). Add tomatoes, courgette, bell peppers, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.

Add rice and stir to coat well with the tomato mixture. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender (25 to 30 minutes). Serve hot directly from the pan and garnished with parsley and lemon wedges, if desired.

Easy Chicken Fajitas

3 cups bell pepper strips
2 cups vertically sliced onion
1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp ground cumin
2 x 10 ounce cans diced tomatoes
8 flour tortillas (6 inch), warmed

Spray large skillet or frying pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and onion and cook for 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add chicken to skillet. Sprinkle with chilli powder and cumin. Cook for 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
Return peppers and onion to skillet and add drained tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes more or until hot. Divide chicken mixture evenly between tortillas.

Mexican French Bread Pizza

I French stick
Cheese to taste (cheddar is best) grated
4 lg fresh tomatoes
Tomato purée
Mixed peppers chopped
1 sm onion

Cut the French stick into normal sized portions. Grate the tomatoes over the bread and drop some tomatoes purée on the grated tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and sprinkle mixed peppers on top of this. Grill for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and eat hot or cold.


450g aubergines
Salt and pepper
120ml olive oil
1 garlic clove
450g onions
450g tomatoes
30ml tomato purée
450g courgettes
3 peppers (red, green and or yellow)

Sprinkle the aubergines with salt and leave for 30 minutes to extract the bitter taste. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with kitchen roll. Heat oil and garlic in large saucepan. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft and golden brown. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree and cook for a few more minutes. Add the aubergines, courgettes, peppers, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. The vegetables should be soft, but retain their shape and most of the liquid should have evaporated. To reduce liquid further, remove lid and continue to cook until desired consistency. Serve hot or cold.