Spring is finally here (at least in our part of the country!), and it's not just your garden that's bursting in to color but hopefully also your cooking and your meals. After all, we're all longing for some color after the long winter days - and what better way to do that in the kitchen than adding bright red peppers to your dishes?! It's a great way to add not just color but also fiber and vitamins and the goodness of the Mediterranean Diet to all your meals.
One of my go-to pantry staples is Tragano Greek Organics red peppers. I always have an open jar in my fridge so that I can have peppers on hand and not have to rely on the luck of the farmer's market or the grocery's greenhouse. These unique Capia peppers have more of a snap than the traditional Florina red peppers typically found in Greece. Tragano roasts them over a flame (no chemical treating here!) and then packs them in an all-natural brine of water, a touch of citric acid to keep their color, and sea salt.
These peppers are so versatile, too, that you can use them everywhere. Here are my Top Ten favorites for morning, noon & night:
Starting with Breakfast:
1. I love baking bread (you can read more about that here!), for there's nothing like warm, crusty bread for any meal, especially breakfast! Adding diced red peppers to your favorite bread recipe, like I did, is sure to start your day off right, especially if you accompany that fresh bread with....
2. ...eggs! I love roasted peppers and cheese in all sorts of egg dishes. If you're in a rush, just place a pepper in the frying pan, crack an egg over it, top with a slice of sharp cheese, like kasseri or parmesan or manchego, and cover it to cook while you make a slice of toast to slide it onto. You can also chop up one of Tragano's red peppers and mix into your scrambled eggs with some crumbled feta cheese for a nice Greek breakfast.
For lunch, peppers help you make up colorful salads for an outdoors picnic with family & friends:
3. Shredded cabbage with diced red pepper is often called a polítiki saláta in Greece. Lots of lemon and olive oil add zest to this crunchy salad that's also a great side dish for meat and fish.
5. ...our Greek Orzo Salad Recipe with lower-gluten, nuttier spelt orzo (you can get all the ingredients in our Greek Orzo Salad Set and get inspired with our YouTube video!). For even more protein, try adding canned chickpeas, like we did in the picture below.
Tragano Greek Organic Peppers also make for tasty appetizers and snacks - try something different for after-school or when you need a break from the umpteenth Zoom meeting or something to bridge you over to a late dinner.
6. Make your own bruschetta with leftover bread and top it with a slice of pepper (try adding sprigs of sea fennel, too, for a real wellness boost!).
8. My latest hot snack (which admittedly took us into dinner!) was to take a couple of of Tragano's whole peppers and stuff them with a mixture of crumbled feta, diced tomatoes and Sparoza's 15 Greek Herbs & Seeds. Twenty minutes in the oven and we had a delicious little snack - this also makes a tasty hot appetizer, without too much fuss.
9. Our friend Sylvia had shared early on in our Zelos adventure her own alternative to pizza night with her yummy Veggie Flatbread that kids and adults alike will love.
10. Last but not least, one of the first recipes I shared on my Zealous Stories blog was for a savoryClafoutis Greek Style, pictured below. Try it for the light dinner that so many of us are trying to eat, as we work off that quarantine weight gain! The fiber from the peppers, olives & sea fennel, together with the protein from the eggs, should keep you full for the rest of the evening and help you stay away from that late-night snacking.
We'd love to hear how you're adding color to your spring cooking! Send us your pictures and recipes or tag us on social media @zelosgreekartisan.
Enjoy the delicious taste of PDO Kimi figs from the island of Evia and bring the flavors of a Greek summer to your table. Hand-crafted by Kumilio using traditional techniques with no additives, preservatives, artificial coloring or flavors.