Thursday, March 7, 2013

Italian Broccoli with Peppers

By Chef Diane
On Valentine's Day I made a batch of my father's now famous Gumbo recipe to take to some elderly widowers.  I also took some to my parents and was telling daddy how I used his recipe and the problems I had, the main one being my pot wasn't quiet big enough.  As I was telling him about the order I put the ingredients in...I didn't mention putting in the bell peppers.    He noticed my omission, and asked right away about them.  I had to confess I did not put bell peppers in.  I am not a fan of them, in fact, I have never even purchased a bell pepper.  He ruffled up his feathers and said well "You did Not make My recipe then!"  That night when I went to sleep, I dreamed all night about bell peppers, slicing them into strips, and eating them right off the plate. 

Broccoli on the other hand is one of my favorite vegetables.  I loved it steamed nice and soft, with just a little butter on it.  I recently got one of those boxes of frozen broccoli with butter sauce, that butter was too sweet, so I just prefer adding my own.  At the dinner table with my father and my son, Im lucky if I can get one stalk away from them.

March is Broccoli and Bell Pepper Month.   As a very high source of Vitamin C broccoli can help to prevent cataracts as well as ease symptoms of the common cold. The folic acid makes it a nice supplement for women who are taking birth control pills or are pregnant. The potassium helps with high blood pressure and the calcium helps stave off osteoporosis. Also high in fiber and rich in beta-carotene, broccoli helps the entire body function better. Finally, the health benefits of broccoli have been linked to the prevention or improvement of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, calcium deficiencies, stomach and colon cancer, malignant tumors, lung cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and even the aging process.

Bell peppers are also incredibly healthy for you. Rich in thiamine, vitamin B6, beta carotene and folic acid bell peppers aid in many functions of the body. They also have a number of antioxidants int hem, which have been shown to fight free radicals and help in the prevention of cancer. Bell peppers have also been shown to be effective in the prevention of blood clot formation, heart attacks and strokes, and to help control elevated cholesterol levels. Add to that the large variety of colors and flavors and bell peppers make for a fantastic addition to almost any recipe according to  

Below is a recipe from  that includes both peppers and broccoli.  This month try to include one or both in some of your daily meals.

Italian Broccoli with Peppers Recipe

  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned
  • 1 medium sweet yellow pepper, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium ripe tomato, cut into wedges and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add broccoli; cover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place broccoli in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, saute peppers in oil for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add the broccoli, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes longer. Add the tomato; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

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