Benefits of Bell Peppers and a Recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are good for your health

I am in love with bell peppers which is why I grow them every summer. Now of course I buy them throughout the year, but there is just something about growing them in my containers.

Here are a few of the health benefits that come from bell peppers:

  • Packed with vitamin A. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant to boost immunity, can protect you from infection, keeps your skin smooth and help prevent certain cancers and heart disease
  • They provide a high level of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps get rid of antioxidants in our body as well as produce collagen
  • Both the folate and vitamin B6 in bell peppers also help ward off heart disease
  • And lastly, the presence of fiber in bell peppers can help reduce high cholesterol and lower the risk of strokes

I am quite health conscious (besides the chips that I ate today and the Vanilla Pound Cake that I’m making for Memorial Day).  But, with that being said, bell peppers do make a great snack. My favorite is fresh bell peppers dipped in ranch dressing. Yummy to my tummy!

By the way, there is a proper way to cut a bell pepper.

If you are looking for a great way to serve bell peppers, then you need to stuff them. Here’s my recipe:

Shalynne’s Famous Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • 6 medium-sized bell peppers (clean outside of peppers and scrape out the inside membrane. Do not slice up, leave whole. Peppers should be able to stand upright. If they do not stand up on their own, then slightly trim the bottom, being careful not cut a whole in the bottom)
  • 2 lb of ground turkey (ground beef would also work but if using ground beef you must drain it after you brown it)
  • 1 can of tomato paste (8 oz.)
  • 1 cup of whole wheat rice
  • 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1-1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups of prepared pasta sauce of choice. (I prefer Ragu)

To prepare: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground turkey in the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Put to side. Prepare rice according to directions on package. Mix cooked ground turkey, cooked rice, mozzarella cheese, sugar and tomato paste in medium-sized bowl. Spoon equal amounts of mixture inside each pepper. Drizzle prepared pasta sauce on the top of each stuffed bell pepper. Place in a baking pan and bake for 1 hour. Serve hot and enjoy!

Summer Project (season 2)

I have a love of gardening and I just cannot shake it. Every home that we have lived in, I have found a way to dig in the dirt and get some vegetables out if it. My favorite food to grow is zucchini. It’s the easiest to grow and I can make some zucchini bread that will make you smack the person you’re sitting by! (Recipe to come…)

I found a new twist to gardening. I am now an official “container gardener”. I chose this route because I can manage my growing process much easier than in the ground. The containers don’t produce weeds because I use clean commercial soil.  It’s easier to hydrate the plants because I keep the containers close to my back door. And, I have to mention that I control the bug factor this way too. I was constantly buying organic repellent when my plants were in the ground. I don’t have that issue anymore. Each container has a mixture of Miracle Gro Potting Soil and Miracle Gro Plant and Vegetable Mix with Mulch with a foundation of rocks to provide drainage.

The plants call for full sun and with them being strategically placed in the back of my house, they get between 8 to 9 hours of sun each day. I closely watch the soil to make sure that it does not dry out.

When they begin to sprout additional leaves I insert poles to guide their growing or another term is “stalk them.” I chose not to do this in the establishment stage of the plants as I do not want to interrupt them as they are taking root and getting settled.

As with planting in the ground, I rotate what I grow in the containers. Last year I grew zucchini, eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes and green onions. So for example, the containers that I grew tomatoes in are now on the front porch with a beautiful array of flowers and the containers that I grew green onions in now is home to the yellow sweet peppers and the lilac bell peppers.

Container gardening can be done by anyone. It’s not just for home owners you know. This hobby would be great for apartment dwellers, senior citizens that cannot get on their hands and knees, elementary students in classrooms, the list is endless.

Give it a try. Let me know your results.