Recipe For Health
by Jill Yarbrough, Dining Services Test Kitchen Manager
Featured Food: Red Bell Peppers Yield: Serves 4-6Learn more about Red Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 c. frozen edamame (shelled soybeans)
  • 2 medium carrots, julienne cut
  • 1 large red bell pepper, julienne cut
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, set aside for garnish
  • 1⁄4 c. peanut sauce (Bangkok or other brand)
  • 1⁄4 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 T. light soy sauce
  • 2 t. sugar
  • 1⁄4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 t. sesame oil
  • 2 T. vegetable oil

Preparation

Cook pasta according to directions on package.

While pasta is cooking, thaw edamame and prepare vegetables.

Mix peanut sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes and sesame oil; set aside. Heat vegetable oil in skillet. Cook carrots and red pepper until slightly softened. Stir in edamame. Add noodles and sauce. Toss ingredients and heat through. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve.

Learn More About Red Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are abundant in our gardens right now. Also known as sweet peppers, they are like the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world since they are beautifully shaped, shiny, and colorful. Green and purple peppers have a slightly bitter flavor, while red, yellow and orange peppers are sweet and fruity.

Bell peppers of all shapes, sizes, and colors provide you with an abundance of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that work to neutralize free radical damage to your body. Liken free radical damage to the browning that occurs when you slice into an apple exposing the cut surface to oxygen. If you add the antioxidant vitamin C by dipping the cut apple in orange juice, the browning (oxidative damage) stops, turning the cut surface white again.

Red peppers are unique among bell peppers in that they contain lycopene, a pigment that gives vegetables and fruits their red color. Lycopene is a carotenoid with powerful antioxidant capabilities. Several studies suggest that consumption of foods rich in lycopene is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Red foods are able to release more lycopene when they are cooked. Cook or serve the lycopene-rich food with vegetable oil, and your body is able to absorb it even better.

Peggy Crum MA, RD

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