Note: As promised, I am posting “red” recipes; the bell peppers are a true red, the beets a very dark red, but still within the red spectrum.
Also, Women’s Voices for Change just posted an excellent article by nutritionists Stephanie Middleberg on the many changes that have occurred in the area of eating for heart health. I urge you to read it. Here is the link:
Utensils: Cutting board & knife, pan for roasting (optional), 2 qt. saucepan, blender or food processor
Prep. Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30- 40 min.
Categories: Sugar, Gluten & Dairy Free (Vegan)
2-3 organic red beets, trimmed & scrubbed
1-2 org. carrots, trimmed & scrubbed
1/2 cup sliced onion
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2-3 cups water or stock (amount depends on thickness desired)
salt & pepper to taste
fresh parsley, sprouts, or dill for garnish
1. The easy way to make this soup is to cook the beets, carrots, onion, and garlic in water or stock until beets are tender. Then remove beets, cool, peel and cut into chunks. Cut carrots into smaller pieces. Put all in food processor (may need 2 batches) with 2 cups of the liquid and puree till smooth, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add more liquid for thinner soup.
2. The longer way is to bake the beets, cool and peel while the carrots and onions are cooking on a pot on top of the stove. Then, when beets are tender, cool, peel and chop and proceed as in #1, pureeing all in food processor.
3. When serving, garnish with parsley, dill, or sprouts.
Yield: 4-6 depending on how much liquid you use.
Nutrition Nugget on beets from the World’s Healthiest Foods (www.whfoods.org) Direct Quote:
- Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory*, and detoxification support. The detox support provided by betalains includes support of some especially important Phase 2 detox steps involving glutathione. Although you can see these betalain pigments in other foods (like the stems of chard or rhubarb), the concentration of betalains in the peel and flesh of beets gives you an unexpectedly great opportunity for these health benefits.
- Another nugget: *Inflammation has been shown to be the cause or trigger for many healthiness, including heart disease. Go to www.heart.org to read about the link between inflammation and heart disease. The article is entitled, simply, “Inflammation and Heart Disease.”
Utensils: Cutting board & knife, serving dish, bowl for marinating
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: Gluten and Sugar Free, Vegetarian/Dairy
3 Tbl. (toasted) sesame oil
1 Tbl. brown rice or other vinegar
1/2 tsp. each ginger and garlic powder
one large or two small organic red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced (goat or sheep) feta cheese
1 Tbl. capers (optional)
2 Tbl. sesame seeds optional)
spinach as garnish (optional)
1. Place dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whip with a fork or whisk. Set aside. (I actually used a pie plate so the marinade would cover all the peppers.)
2. Wash peppers well. Remove top with stem. (I used the leftover red pepper around the stem in another dish.)
3. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove white membrane; then slice into thin slivers.
4. Place peppers in bowl or pan with dressing and allow to sit a few minutes or longer. (You can make this earlier in the day and allow to marinate several hours.)
5. Dice the feta and add to the bowl. Also add capers if using. (I had them in my condiment/spice shelf so I just threw them in. Never know what to do with them!)
6. After the peppers have marinated for at least 15 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove and place appetizer in serving bowl (Save marinade for any leftover pepper dish.)
7. Sprinkle on sesame seeds, if using, and add spinach (or sprouts) to the plate for color. Serve room temp or chilled.
Yield: 3-6 servings, depending whether it is an appetizer or side salad
Nutrition Nugget On Red Bell Peppers: (Same source as above) Direct Quote:
- Bell pepper is not only an excellent source of carotenoids, but also a source of over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. A recent study from Spain took a close look vitamin C, vitamin E, and six of these carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) in all commonly eaten foods and found that only two vegetables contained at least two-thirds of all the listed nutrients. One of these foods was tomato, and the other was sweet bell pepper! Bell pepper alone provided 12% of the total zeaxanthin found in the participants’ diets. (Bell pepper also provided 7% of the participants’ total vitamin C intake.) Note: Check my Glossary for terms such as antioxidant, carotenoids (with beta-carotene entry) and phytonutrients – https://www.menupause.info/glossary/
Another nugget: I Googled Peppers & heart disease and found an interesting article in health.usnews.com: Here is the pepper excerpt:
• Red Bell Peppers: These are a particularly good choice for heart health as they are full of lycopene, which is not found in green peppers. They are also a source of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and powerful antioxidant vitamins A and C, which are good for heart health.
The other four foods recommended for health hearts are: tomatoes, tart cherries, strawberries, and red grapes, all red foods. These are meant to help with inflammation.