A Real Happy Meal

Spring is in full swing in Central Florida.  Everywhere, flowers are blooming and tender baby vegetables are overflowing the produce bins.  I love this time of year when farmers’ markets are brimming with eye-candy, vibrantly-colored fruits and vegetables, and sweet aromas that border on intoxicating.

One of my seasonal favorites is the sunny yellow, orange and ruby-hued sweet peppers.  When eaten raw they make a delicious, quick and low calorie snack. When stuffed and roasted with goat cheese and basil pesto they are sublime.  As simple as it sounds, slice the peppers and remove seeds. Stuff with about a teaspoon each of goat cheese and pesto (the peppers will shrink some so be careful not to overfill).  Drizzle with your favorite oil and roast @ 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.  I serve them slightly cooled with fresh-cracked black pepper and leaves of fresh oregano or basil.

Stuff sweet peppers with your choice of herb cheeses, crab, or pesto and roast at 400 degrees for 15 minutes

As beautiful as they are, there’s more to sweet peppers than meets the eye. Research shows that certain foods such as peppers can help keep hormones and brain chemicals balanced, resulting in a sunnier, calmer state of mind. For some great tips on mood-enhancing foods, watch this five minute video ‘You’re never too old for a Happy Meal’ featuring registered dietician Dr. Sheila Dean of Palm Harbor Center for Health and Healing.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lois Szydlowski on April 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    These look yummy Joy….I love peppers and stuffed ones are the best…thanks!@


  2. Posted by Deb G on April 19, 2012 at 6:52 am

    This recipe definitely appeals to me on both taste and sensory levels – I LOVE these little peppers and go out of my way to find them (usually in big bags at Costco) and stuffing them with cheese and pesto makes a beautiful colorful presentation. As Ellie Kreiger always says you eat with your eyes first!

    I generally grab a handful and toss in my lunch bag for a quick easy tasty snack at work – just rinse and munch.

    BTW hubby finally tried the crab cake and LOVED it……thought you could use some positive feedback there 😉


    • Thanks for your feedback, Deb! I have also stuffed the peppers with fresh chicken salad and fireworks coleslaw (with purple cabbage, red bell pepper, grated carrots, and shredded broccoli), another brightly colored and tasty presentation. I’m thrilled your husband liked the crab cake! That recipe is a winner! 🙂


  3. Posted by pam on April 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    This a great, delicious way to get vitamin C. It opens up a whole new way to be creative with the stuffing. These are ingredients I keep on hand and I’m trying this one tonight. Really appreciate the link to Dr. Dean’s article regarding natural mood enhancers (always a good idea!).


    • Thanks, Pam! Another video by Dr. Dean that may interest you is on five top foods that everyone should be eating. She covers certain nutrients that are good for lowering blood pressure, maintaining heart health, and foods that support vision. Visit her website @ DrDeanNutrition.com and look in the right hand column under “Media Interviews with Dr. Dean” and look towards the bottom of the list for “10 News – Take 5 with Dr Dean – Five Top Foods You Should Be Eating Right Now”, I’m unable to include a link in the reply, sorry!!


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