Red Bell Pepper Recipes

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Summer Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

04.07.10 by Jackie

Orzo pasta salad is a very quick and easy dish to prepare. You can vary the ingredients in the sauce, but the basics are the same: you need the orzo pasta, some vegetables and a sauce. I made a roasted red bell pepper paste, added some green beans for color, lentils for protein and finished the dish with enoki mushrooms and cashew nuts for texture.

If you're looking for a quick and easy recipe for a picnic, this dish is an excellent choice. It's a light dish that pairs well with almost any kind of protein (hamburgers, fish, etc.). It's also very flexible; as spring turns into summer, you can incorporate many different seasonal vegetables into the recipe. Our extended family has a lot of picnics and potlucks this time of year, and I often prepare some variation of an orzo pasta salad. It's great for both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians in our house.


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Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Asparagus Recipe

There are few side dishes that are as intensely colorful and beautiful as a platter of roasted red bell peppers and asparagus. The flavors and textures are very distinct and complementary. They don't need much in the way of dressing; I usually only add a little lemon, pickled red onion and sea salt after drizzling them with olive oil and roasting them in the oven.

It's a great party platter because you can prepare it in advance. I usually roast the vegetables several hours before we have guests over, and then dress them right before serving. You could also serve the veggies straight out of the oven if you'd like them warm. Either way, this simple yet elegant dish is a perfect way to begin a dinner party. Enjoy!


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Ratatouille Recipe

Ratatouille

01.21.10 by Jackie

For most, the name of this dish evokes dreams of animated rodents scurrying around a Parisian restaurant kitchen. In reality though, ratatouille is a French stewed vegetable dish from the seaside city of Nice. I make my version with zucchini (courgette in French), eggplant (aubergine), olives, capers, bell peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes.  With the exception of the tomatoes, everything is fresh. I prefer canned tomatoes in this dish because they tend to be sweeter (especially during the winter season).

Given the abundance of fresh vegetables, this dish would be perfect for the summer. In fact, I make it often when the vegetables in my garden ripen. I also like it in the winter though, because it's excellent comfort food. The flavor of the veggies marries wonderfully with the herbs and spices. My family always ends up fighting over the "broth" at the bottom of the bowl.

Ratatouille can be eaten with just about anything. Crusty bread and rice are common options, but my personal favorite delivery device is a savory crêpe. However it makes it to your mouth though, you'll be happy it did!


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Chicken Chow Mein Noodles Recipe

Chicken Chow Mein Noodles

01.11.10 by Jackie

I prepare Chicken Chow Mein with king mushrooms, tofu, broccoli, sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots and red bell peppers. The dish couldn't be simpler to make, and is definitely a family favorite. It's a great alternative to pasta, and it's an excellent way to make use of leftovers. I often combine the leftover chicken from my poulet roti with whatever vegetables we have on hand.

Chow Mein is one of the few dishes I can cook where it's very easy to make both vegetarian and meat versions simultaneously. I just set aside a portion of the dish before I add chicken to the rest.


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Mediterranean Mini Pizza with Cannellini Beans and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus Recipe

I made a hummus pizza a few days ago and I felt like recreating a sandwich version of the dish with a bunch of Mediterranean ingredients. The problem was that I only had pita bread at home. I could have created a pocket in the bread and stuffed it, but I decided to place the ingredients on top of the pita bread to create a meal that resembled a pizza.

Following the Mediterranean theme, I made a cannellini bean and roasted red bell pepper hummus-like spread and topped it with Greek feta cheese, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, pickled shallot, black olives and marinated artichoke hearts. For the meat lovers out there, I would add some cubes of lamb kebabs.

I'm sure you've heard of 30-minute meals, but this took me 10 minutes, tops. Try this recipe the next time you're in a hurry. Beat that, Rachael Ray!


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