Peppers (Sweet)

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

Any of you folks out there who were kids of the 1970s will be familiar with this version of a casserole. We had it at least once a week at my house! It may be old fashioned, but it is still delicious, especially if you are hungry for a bit of nostalgia. So sit back, watch some episodes of the Brady Bunch and get groovy with vegetables!

Old Fashioned Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 sweet peppers, chopped
  • half a pint of fresh okra, chopped into rings
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (we used Grass Roots chicken tenders)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped, including green parts
  • 1 package butter crackers, crushed (we used Late July organic classic rich crackers)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat a bit of oil over medium high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until starting to get soft. Add garlic, cooking for another minute. Add okra and tomatoes, sprinkling all with a bit of salt & pepper. Really let the tomatoes cook down and get a bit of browning on the vegetables, being careful to stir and prevent any burning.
  3. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in sour cream and cooked chicken. Dump into 9 x 13 pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with green onions and with cheddar cheese.
  4. Mix melted butter and crushed crackers together, then sprinkle over top of casserole.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Enjoy!

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

Instead of an Asian wok, the Southern equivalent is definitely the cast iron skillet. Cooking these summer vegetables over high heat seals in flavor, as well as staving off the slimy texture that okra can take on when cooked. Quick, flavorful, and nutritious (also vegetarian and vegan).

Stir Fry

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Ingredients

  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups very small okra pods, whole
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 small eggplants, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup cooked lentils

Instructions

  1. In a large cast iron skillet over high heat, warm 1 teaspoon oil to almost smoking. Add okra pods all at once, and cook, stirring, until they begin to brown. Add eggplant, and stir, cooking another minute. Add pepper, stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes more. Add chopped tomato and remove skillet from the heat. Squeeze the juice from half of a lemon down over the entire dish, stirring to incorporate. Add salt and pepper. Stir in the cooked lentils. Enjoy!

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

This week’s CSA box had so many lovely things in it, and they begged to be roasted. Roasting brings out such a deep, rich flavor in vegetables that it is one of my favorite ways to prepare them. The resulting dip from this recipe doesn’t just have to be dipped. It can be spread on bread or wraps, too, for a tasty summer sandwich.

Roasted Veggie Dip

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Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant or two medium eggplants
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small head of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • splash red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Trim ends from the eggplant and pepper. Trim ends from the onion and remove outer skin, but leave whole. Slice across the entire head of garlic, removing just the tops from the cloves. Do the same on the bottom side, removing the roots, but leave whole.
  2. On a large baking sheet, place eggplant, trimmed end side down. Add onion, pepper, and garlic head. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over all.
  3. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the eggplant is very tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  4. Once it is cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides from the eggplant, leaving the skins behind. Place into a bowl. Open up the pepper and scrape out the insides, leaving the skin behind. Chop finely and add to the bowl. Finely chop the onion and add to the bowl. Taking the entire head of garlic, squeeze the roasted cloves of garlic from the papery skins. Finely chop and add to other ingredients in bowl.
  5. Add about a teaspoon more olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar to the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste (the vegetables took quite a bit of salt, so keep tasting). Stir to combine very well. Enjoy!

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

This is a beautiful and flavorful dish that is vegetarian as well as vegan. I used fettuccine noodles that are made from edamame and mung beans. Not only are they grain free, but they are packed with protein.

Mushroom Fettuccine

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Ingredients

  • 1 large clove garlic, or two small cloves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 3 small banana peppers, sliced thinly
  • 1 pint fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thickly
  • 1 cup fresh arugula leaves, stems removed and chopped
  • fettuccine noodles
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 stalks fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • pat of butter (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the fettuccine noodles according to the package directions. When they are drained, add a bit of olive oil and stir well. This will keep the noodles from sticking while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. Slice the garlic clove into thin slices, but do not mince. In a cold skillet, add olive oil and sprinkle the garlic over. Slowly bring the skillet up to medium heat. This will infuse the olive oil with the garlic flavor.
  3. Once you start to smell the garlic and before it starts to brown, add the onion and peppers and turn the heat up to medium high, stirring all together.
  4. Once the onions begin to get soft, add the mushrooms and stir. Let the mushrooms cook several minutes, until they begin to get a little browned. Keep stirring. Once the mushrooms start to color, add the arugula. Sprinkle all with salt & pepper.
  5. Remove the stems from the fresh thyme, if using, and sprinkle over all, or add dried thyme. Stir and cook one minute more.
  6. To really bring this dish together, add a pat of butter to the hot skillet and stir. This adds a bit of extra richness to the dish, as well as a glossiness.
  7. Place fettuccine noodles in a bowl, making a well in the center. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the top, adding extra thyme, salt, or even parmesan cheese, if desired.

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

This recipe uses lots of delicious things that can be found at any local farmstand or farmer’s market. It is also a great way to use up leftover rice.

Farmstand Rice

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 pound Grass Roots ground turkey
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 small summer squash, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pint fresh okra, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric root powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated mild cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, cook ground turkey over high heat until no pink remains and it is browning at the edges. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. In same skillet, add about a tablespoon oil and warm over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and starting to brown and caramelize.
  3. Add squash and okra and cook for 2 more minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until warmed through.
  4. Stir in paprika, turmeric, chili powder, and salt & pepper.
  5. Add rice and stir together. Transfer to a large casserole dish. Add ground turkey and grated cheese. Stir together to melt the cheese into the warm vegetable mixture. Enjoy!

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

My aunt made this dish at a family gathering a few years ago. It was such a smash hit that I asked for the recipe. She cut it out of the paper and gave me the clipping. I have heard of other versions of this called Texas Caviar, which uses more Southwest flavors like jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. It is different every time I make it, as the basic recipe is so easy. Sometimes I add corn kernels, sometimes I add farro or quinoa, sometimes I change up the beans, but it always turns out great. It is perfect for picnics, too, as it doesn’t need to be kept cool. I really hope you try this one!

 

Mississippi Caviar

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Ingredients

  • 1 can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large red or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1/2 red or yellow onion
  • 2 red slicer tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried italian seasoning
  • pinch black pepper

Instructions

  1. Chop the peppers, cucumber, and onion in a small dice, about the same size as the beans. Slice and remove the seeds from the tomatoes, then dice as well. Grate the 2 cloves of garlic very fine. Place all of the beans and vegetables in a large bowl.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, seasoning, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  3. Pour the vinegar mixture over the entire mixture and stir well. Cover and set aside. Let it marinate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Enjoy with tortilla chips as a dip. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Notes

This can also be used as a filling for a wrap. Add some small cubes of cheese to the mixture, if you like. It is very versatile!

Storage

Store peppers in a plastic bag or airtight container in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Green peppers will usually stay fresh longer than colored peppers, and stored properly all should stay fresh for 1-2 weeks.

Recipes

Enjoy them fresh, grilled, or roasted

Simple Sautéed Peppers

Veggie Fajitas

Smoky Stuffed Peppers

Broccoli Pepper Stir Fry

Ratatouille

Pasta with Peppers, Squash, and Tomatoes

Tomato, Squash, and Pepper Gratin

Pepper, Tomato, and Cucumber Panzanella Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata

Preservation

Peppers can easily be frozen for later use in recipes where they will be cooked. First wash and slice peppers to desired size, then lay flat in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for about two hours or until just frozen, then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container for freezing.

Peppers can also be roasted first and then frozen. To do so, place whole peppers below the broiler for 3-5 minutes on each side. When peppers are charred, immediately transfer to a paper or plastic bag or a bowl with a lid. Allow the peppers to steam for about 10-15 minutes, then remove the peels and allow to cool. Chop if desired, then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container for freezing.

(Recipe from Jennifer at Natural Things Foods Store)

This casserole is super easy to put together and tastes great. We used Grass Roots Farmer’s Cooperative mild pork sausage for its great flavor and texture. Definitely a meat and potatoes dish!

 

Country Casserole

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Ingredients

  • 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 pound ground mild pork sausage
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (any variety)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small skillet, cook the sausage over medium high heat until no pink remains.
  2. While the meat is cooking, melt the 1/2 stick of butter. Pour it into an 8×8 glass pan.
  3. Slice the potatoes into 1/8 inch rounds. Add to the butter in the pan, and toss to coat well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Remove cooked sausage from the skillet, leaving some of the drippings behind. Add the onion and peppers and cook until just tender.
  5. Arrange the potatoes evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the sausage over potatoes and sprinkle the onion and peppers over the meat.
  6. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, leaving a small corner open or cut a small slit in the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until potatoes are completely tender. Remove aluminum foil. Sprinkle cheese over all and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.