The first bell peppers of summer are green, and there can be an overabundance of them in the garden before the other colored peppers show up. But no one likes to waste fresh garden bounty.
As the abundance flows in from the garden, farmers markets and CSA boxes, you can use these recipes — one for each night of the week — to create a variety of dishes so you don't feel as if you're eating the same thing over and over.
Beyond being a tasty addition to many dishes, green bell peppers are low in calories, fat free and have a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. According to SF Gate's Healthy Eating, a 1-cup serving has 2.5 grams of fiber, 119.8 milligrams vitamin C, .55 milligrams vitamin E, and the mineral zeaxanthin, which is good for eye health. Green bell peppers are rich in antioxidants (but not as rich as a red bell pepper) and they can help fight against a host of chronic illnesses including inflammation, heart problems and cancer.
Garden Fresh Pasta Sauce — This is the pasta sauce to make when gardens and farmers markets are bursting with tomatoes, green peppers and fresh herbs. The green bell peppers are sautéed in olive oil with garlic and onion, and then the tomatoes and herbs are added and cooked together for just a half hour, melding the flavors but retaining the freshness of summer's bounty. Pour over cooked pasta and serve.
Crock Pot Chicken Philly Cheesesteak — I'm going to ignore the fact that there is very little "Philly" happening in this cheesesteak because it still looks like a yummy sandwich. Chicken, a pile of sliced green bell peppers, onions, garlic and seasoning cook together in the slow cooker and are served on top of a bun with some cheese. This recipe is Weight Watchers-friendly.
This frittata is all comfort and deliciousness. There's nothing like country-style cooking hot from the oven! (Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch)
Roasted Potato Frittata with Onions and Peppers — A rustic, comforting breakfast, lunch or even dinner, this frittata also has mushrooms and sharp cheddar cheese in it. The leftovers are just as good as when it comes out of the oven. It's delicious served cold and is a perfect the next day taken to work for lunch.
Pepperoni and Green Pepper Pizza Spaghetti Squash — The flavors of pizza are stuffed into a spaghetti squash so you don't have to worry about all the carbs in pizza crust. Simply scoop the seeds out of a spaghetti squash that's been cut in half and then top it like you would a pizza — with sauce, cheese, pepperoni and green pepper — as well as any other toppings you want to add on.
Stuffed Bell Peppers — Any color bell pepper can be used in this recipe that calls for a combination of sausage, mushroom and rice, along with a few other ingredients and seasonings, to be stuffed into a hollowed-out pepper and baked in the oven. A last minute addition of cheese and a quick trip under the broiler finishes them off.
Super Fresh Cucumber Salad — If you want cold vegetables instead of baked ones, try this salad of raw cucumbers, green bell peppers, red onion and Roma tomatoes drizzled with a homemade red wine vinaigrette. You can serve it immediately or let the flavors meld together in the fridge for a few hours up until a few days.