Peppers – Preserving the Harvest

Do you enjoy peppers during the summer months?  Well don’t miss the chance to enjoy them during the winter months too.  Peppers that are frozen are great to use in stir fry, sauteed in your eggs and even have some ready to enjoy stuffed peppers on a cold winter day.  They are not going to be good just to eat fresh or in salads but that is a summer thing!

Freezing peppers is easy to do.  If you follow these steps you can pour out what you need for each meal and keep enjoying for lots of different dishes.

Ingredients:

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Fresh peppers free of blemishes

Wash your harvest.

Prepare them for how you want to use them.  Maybe cut some in strips for stir fry, cut some in halves for stuffing and just hollow out some to leave whole for stuffing.

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Take out the seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Place in the freezer and leave them until completely frozen.

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Pour them into a freezer bag and be sure to label them with the type of pepper and the date.  You don’t want to be surprised with a hot pepper just because it looks like a sweet one!

They are ready to pour out the amount that you need for a meal and put the others back in the freezer to use later.

 

 

Crispy Swoodles with Bacon

Wow, this recipe is a delicious way to enjoy sweet potatoes!  Make it for your family, even your picky eater kids will love this one.

This recipe is from Nom Nom Paleo and is definitely worth trying.  Thanks Yvonne for suggesting it.

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1/2 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces

2 pounds white-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled  (I used the typical orange sweet potato and it was delicious too)

2 large carrots, peeled (the fatter, the better for spiralizing)

1 small yellow onion, peeled

Kosher salt

1 medium lime

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

2 tablespoons minced chives

How to Make It

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F on convection mode (or if you don’t have a convection function on your oven, set it to 425 degrees F on regular mode) with the rack in the middle position.

While the oven is heating up, toss the bacon bits into a large skillet and crank the heat to medium.  Cook, stirring occasionally until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes.

While the bacon is turning into crunchy bits, spiralize the sweet potatoes, carrots, and onion.  To ensure success, make sure you’ve got thick ‘n girthy veggies (at least 1 1/2″ in diameter) and make sure the ends are sliced smoothly and evenly.

Grab a rimmed baking sheet and place the veggie noodles on top.  If the strands are crazy-long, use a pair of kitchen shears to cut the swoodles into more manageable lengths.

When the bacon bits are crunchy, use a slotted spoon to transfer them onto a paper towel lined plate.

Toss the vegetable noodles with 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and the reserved bacon drippings.  (If you want to make this dish vegetarian friendly substitute 1/3 cup olive oil or avocado oil in place of bacon grease)

Place the tray of veggies into the oven and roast for a total of 35 to 45 minutes, stirring the veggies every 10-15 minutes to ensure the onions and sweet potatoes don’t burn.

Squirt on the juice from on lime and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top the roasted swoodles with a shower of chopped parsley, chives and crispy bacon bits.  Serve immediately with favorite roasted meats or seafood.

 

Asian Cole Slaw

If you like Bokchoy Salad you will enjoy this Asian Cole Slaw dish.  It is very similar but with green cabbage instead of the bokchoy.  Of course bokchoy is in the cabbage family too.

Ingredients

Slaw

1/2 head large green cabbage, grated    (I use the food processor for quick processing of the cabbage and carrots)

1 carrot, grated

6 ounces sesame seed

1 small package sliced almonds

6 ounces ramen or chow mein (crunchy noodles)

2-3 green onions

butter

Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup sugar  (I sub honey or agave)

3 tablespoons soy sauce  (I use Mrs Braggs Liquid Aminos or Tamari Sauce)

How to Make It

Grate your cabbage and carrots.

Chop your green onions.

Melt some butter in a skillet and carefully toast your sesame seed, chow mein noodles and almonds.  Watch carefully or they will burn.  Just cook till slightly browned.  Let cool.

For the dressing:

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake till combined well.

Combine all ingredients and mix with the dressing right before serving.

 

 

 

Creole Eggplant

A quick and easy eggplant dish with only one dish to wash!

Ingredients

1 small onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped

8 ounce can tomato sauce  **or make your own using fresh summer tomatoes from the garden

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried whole oregano or 3/4 teaspoon fresh minced

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

1 small eggplant peeled (if using Italian type eggplant). You can omit this step if using the Asian variety which has a more tender skin. Coarsely chop.

How to Make It

Combine first 8 ingredients in a heavy skillet.

Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Stir in eggplant and cover and cook an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Yields 4 servings.

Recipe from Southern Living Annual Cookbook

 

Mexican Eggplant

Eggplant with a Mexican flair!

Eggplant thrives during the time of year that many of the summer veggies have succumbed to Georgia’s heat and humidity so having different ways to prepare it keeps it interesting. Give this recipe a try!

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Ingredients

1 medium Italian eggplant (or 2 Asian eggplant-the long slender ones), about 1 1/2 pounds

Oil

1   4 ounce can chopped green chilies, drained  

1   4 ounce can sliced ripe olives, drained

1  15 ounce can tomato sauce (or make your own from fresh tomatoes)** See easy recipe for making your own tomato sauce from summer tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese  (I used pepper jack)

How to Make It

If using large traditional eggplant you will need to peel it but if using asian eggplant skip this step. Their peels are tender and don’t have to be removed.

Brush each side of eggplant with oil and place on a baking sheet.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes and then set aside.

Combine next 5 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Place half of eggplant slices in a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, top with half each of tomato mixture and cheese.  Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes till cheese is melted.

Recipe from Southern Living Cookbook Annual Recipes

 

 

 

 

 

Tomato Quinoa Bake

Summertime is the time to take advantage of the flavors of tomatoes and basil.  This easy to make recipe gives you that great flavor and protein from the quinoa.

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Ingredients:

4 cups quinoa, cooked

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup chopped sweet pepper

8 ounces mozzarella balls

basil

How to Make

Mix cooked quinoa, broth, garlic, shredded cheese, onions and peppers.  Pour this mixture into a 9 X 9″ baking dish.

Top with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls.  Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 40 minutes.

Top with fresh chopped basil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okra Smoothie

Okay all you smoothie fans here is a delicious smoothie that uses okra.  Okra you say, don’t knock it till you try it and maybe just  not tell anyone your secret ingredient until they try it! Okra is high in fiber and low in calories and is chock full of nutrients!  Thanks Toni for sharing this recipe for an Okra Smoothie!

Ingredients

1 cup water

1 cup frozen diced okra  (I used fresh okra and worked great too)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil or 2 teaspoons MCT oil

1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 generous pinches mineral salt

3 teaspoons Super Sweet Blend  (I was not familiar with Super Sweet Blend but sweetened with liquid Stevia to taste)

1 scoop Integral Collagen (optional)

1/4 teaspoon Sunflower Lecithin (optional)

12 to 16 large ice cubes

1 scoop Whey Protein (or 1/2 scoop if using Integral Collagen)

How do I Make It

Place all the ingredients except the ice cubes and whey in a blender and blend until very smooth.  It is very important not to blend the ice and whey yet.  You want all the okra completely broken down first.  Add the ice and blend well again.  You may have to stop the blender and stir a couple of times or add the ice slowly.  Add the whey and blend for 10-15 seconds more.  Don’t blend too long or it will get super poofy.

Thanks Toni for sharing this recipe for an okra smoothie.

 

 

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