Red Bell Pepper Salsa (antioxidant packed appetizer)

 

I am very fond of bell peppers and so, I try to develop recipes to incorporate them one way or the other. Their vibrant color, flavor (and nutrient profile) probably make them one of my favorite choices. You probably think that my taste buds are “biased towards the healthy foods”…but you can try and taste these dishes yourself! 😉 I know, bell peppers show up in a lot of my dishes. And here is yet another dish – a low fat dish packed with anti-oxidants – lots of vitamin C and some vitamin A, that you can serve over some healthy crackers as an appetizer or a snack. You can creatively use it as an additional filling in your sandwich or burrito or wrap. If you prepare it in larger quantity, don’t worry, it can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days like hummus. Although, its better when its fresh, as some vitamin C is lost during storage. Enhance this dish by adding some home-made low fat paneer crumbs or firm tofu crumbs & make it more nutritious (proteins, some vitamins and minerals). And, of course garnishing with chopped fresh basil will take it to a whole new level. In fact, the salsa tastes better with tofu & basil combination! Surprise your guests with this appetizer and I am sure they will remember you for serving a lovely dish. Don’t forget to tell them how you found this recipe! 😉 And, by the way, feel free to replicate this recipe with mixed bell peppers! For those who can’t eat anything without the heat…go ahead and add some red chili flakes! 🙂 Enjoy~

Know your nutrients:

Per serving without the crackers : 21 cals | 1 g total fat | 67 mg vitamin C | 57 ug RAE vitamin A

Per serving with 2 oz (1/2 cup) firm tofu : 43 cals | 3 g protein | 2 g total fat | 63 mg Calcium | 67 mg vitamin C | 57 ug RAE vitamin A

Ingredients (4 servings)

1 large red bell pepper, deseeded & diced to 1 cm pieces

1 large garlic clove, chopped

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Wash and deseed the red bell pepper. I usually cut  the crown and pull out the whole bulb of seeds and tap to remove any loose seeds. That makes it easier to not have the seeds interfere with my chopping process. You can refer to this video for coring bell pepper. Peel and chop the garlic as well.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add the chopped garlic. Let it sizzle on medium heat and before it turns brown add the diced bell pepper. Saute for a minute and then let the pieces soften a bit on medium heat. Sprinkle salt so that the moisture oozes out easily. Don’t let the bell pepper get burnt. Although, when you want to add some variety, you can incorporate some burnt flavor, but don’t burn all of the pepper pieces as it destroys the vitamins.
  3. When the bell peppers have softened, remove from heat and let it cool off.
  4. Then sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and vinegar. Mix well and serve it with some healthy crackers as a snack or appetizer with or without tofu & fresh basil.

For the Red Bell pepper salsa appetizer.

  1. Spread some high fiber crackers on a plate.
  2. While preparing the salsa, sprinkle some dried herbs (oregano, rosemary or thyme) while sauteing.
  3. Once done, add crumbs of low-fat home-made paneer or firm tofu (2 oz. or 1/2 cup) & mix well. Transfer spoonful on crackers.
  4. Garnish with  fresh basil and serve. Or add chopped basil leaves to the salsa before topping the crackers.

Red bell pepper salsa

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