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red bell pepper



5 Ways to Add Big, Low-Calorie Flavor with Roasted Red Peppers

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

Both smoky and sweet, roasted red peppers add instant oomph to any dish. While it’s easy to make your own (remember to turn on the hood fan as even sweet red peppers can make your eyes sting), the jarred versions can also be good. For instance, I just discovered Trader Joe’s house brand, which are dead ringers for homemade.

Here are five ways I like to use them, and you’ll no doubt enjoy, too!

roasted peppers
Add to salads, just as you would any other vegetable. This Balsamic Tomato and Red Pepper salad recipe includes instructions for roasting the peppers.

Purée in dips, like the red pepper and walnut-based muhammara from Syria that’s popping up in Middle Eastern restaurants, or this lower calorie Roasted Red Pepper Dip.
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Irresistible 30-Minute Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps by Chef Suzanne Leher

Editor at The Cooking Channel and also a chef and writer, Suzanne Leher says it’s near impossible for her not to order chicken lettuce wraps if they’re anywhere on a menu. So what’s a chef to do with her favorite dish? Replicate it at home of course!

Plated Suz Lehrer

Suzanne created this recipe that she says just may convince you to throw out your takeout menus and hit the kitchen.

plated hoisin chicken lettuce wraps

Cool, crunchy Bibb lettuce serves as the perfect pairing for gingery-hot chicken sautéed with sweet and crunchy carrots. Rice noodles stir-fried with sesame oil and red bell peppers, then topped with chopped peanuts and scallions make the perfect side for filling but healthy dinner.
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Pizza Stuffed Peppers For the Big Game

They say there’s a story behind every recipe and these peppers are no exception to that rule. After somehow deleting all of the photos I’d taken of these little beauties the first time I’d made them, I was consequently forced to make them again for this story. This would’ve been far more unfortunate had they not been so simple to prepare and so extremely delicious. I can attest to their robust flavor as I sit here eating one for lunch while writing this post.

Pizza inside a pepper – who would’ve thought? Not I. But they are certainly the best stuffed pepper I’ve ever tried.

On top of requiring minimal ingredients and coming together in about 40 minutes tops, they’re much healthier than eating an actual pizza. This is because a fiber-loaded bell peppers replaces the crust, and little whole grain bread cubes step in to mimic that “crunch” a thin crust pizza would have.
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Picnic Perfect Recipe for Red and Sweet Potato Salad

I can say that the Fourth of July is my hands-down favorite holiday of the year. It’s smack dab in the middle of summer and everyone is happy. It’s a good-time vibe all day, and usually all weekend when the holiday doesn’t fall on a Wednesday.

Like most Americans, I love the food aspect of these patriotic celebrations. Picnic food has got to be some of the best, but it tends to be some of the worst for us. Just like I had to rethink my go-to beef burgers and swap them for a pretty tasty turkey burger, I had to rethink my sides. Particularly potato salad.


I love potato salad! I used to day dream about that big yellow dollop on my plate. Now I kind of shudder when I see that pail of mayo-mustard mess. I felt like I owed it to myself and my guests to come up with something better, and so I did.
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Eat Right With Red Foods in a Healthy One Pot Meal

Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian, and the founder/president of Zied Health Communications, LLC in New York City. She’s the author of the award-winning Nutrition At Your Fingertips (Alpha, 2009), a regular contributor to MSNBC.com and Galtime.com, and an Advisory Board member for Parents magazine and parents.com. For more information, or to sign up for The ZIED GUIDE free weekly e-newsletter, visit elisazied.com.

This recipe, from Feed Your Family Right! (Wiley, 2007), packs in lots of delicious RED foods—tomatoes (rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium and a good source of lycopene when cooked), red bell peppers (loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A, and also a good source of vitamin B6, fiber and other nutrients), and jalapeno peppers (rich in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A and fiber). It also combines protein (from sirloin) with complex carbohydrates and fiber (from beans) to fill you up and provide long-lasting energy.
An added bonus? It’s a hearty and delicious meal the whole family will enjoy!


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