By: Leanne Ely

 

Not all bell peppers are created equal. First there are the colors – red, orange, yellow, and green are the most common. Second is the flavor – from sweet to hot. It is all from the same plant. The only difference is when they are picked. As the pepper gets riper, it gets not only a better taste, but it also gets more nutritive value. A red pepper is actually a fully ripened green pepper with a milder flavor.

Red Yellow and Green Bell Peppers Vegetable Stall Display

Here’s Today’s Trick:

Bell peppers freeze well without being blanched, but it is better to wash them first. For maximum flavor and nutritional value, store them whole. Sweet peppers lend themselves well to drying and keep at least 1 year when dried. They are also good marinated.

Here’s a Tip:

Red pepper has more vitamin C than oranges and are also high in beta-carotene.

And your Recipe:

Chicken Verde Fajitas
Serves 6

ASSEMBLE:
Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds green tomatillos, husks removed
1/2 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium limes, juiced
2 small jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 pounds bone-in chicken breasts
2 tablespoons cumin
3 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced

To assemble:
Preheat broiler to high.

Slice the tomatillos in half lengthwise, and place cut-side down in a baking dish. Roast under the broiler 6 to 8 minutes, until skin takes on a darker color. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a food processer, add cooled tomatillos, chopped onion, garlic, lime juice, jalapeños, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Blend until a puree is formed. Pour this mixture into a small freezer bag, remove excess air, and seal.

In a small mixing bowl, mix together cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over chicken breasts. Place seasoned chicken in a freezer bag, remove excess air, and seal.

In a final freezer bag, place sliced onion and bell peppers, remove excess air, and seal.

To prevent freezer burn, place the filled bag in a second 1-gallon freezer bag; carefully squeeze the bag to force out any air, then seal. On the outside of the bag, label with the recipe name and date of preparation; place it in the freezer

THAW:

Defrost your freezer meal the night before in the fridge. If you don’t have a full thaw at cooking time, remove it from the holding bag and place it in a sink of water to speed-thaw your food. New rules allow for thawing in hot water (100 degrees) with no issues regarding quality or safety (old rules said to use cold water for thawing, but this is no longer necessary – hot water is fast, effective and safe).

COOK:

At time of cooking ingredients:
2 ripe avocados, sliced
1 head romaine lettuce

Cooking instructions:

In a large crock cooker, add half of the tomatillo puree. Place chicken breasts on top of tomatillo puree. Add all vegetables and the rest of the tomatillo puree.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock cooker. With two forks, remove chicken from bone and shred. Return chicken to crock cooker and mix well.

Serve in romaine lettuce cups topped with fresh avocado.

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