Roasted Peppers & Eggplants in Vinegar, by Susana

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“I think that cooking is one of the most gratifying chores in the house. I love it! If I’m in a bad mood or having a bad day, cooking always cheers me up,” Susana assures.

Susana Saporiti is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She graduated from the Industrial School of Applied Arts Fernando Fader as a Drawing, Engraving, and Metal Teacher. Throughout her career as a painter, Susana has experimented with many materials and artistic styles, such as charcoal, pastels, oil, collage, woodcut; portraits, nature, interior, figures, landscapes; realism and abstraction…Her intrinsic artistic sensitivity makes an appearance in many other aspects of her life. “When I cook,” she says, “I feel that the color combinations and the presentation of the food, in the menu and on the table, are essential.”

Color is, indeed, a very important factor when pursuing a healthy and balanced diet. According to registered dietitian, author, and former Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, Karen Ansel, adding a splash of colorful seasonal foods to your plate makes for more than just a festive meal. “A rainbow of foods creates a palette of nutrients, each with a different bundle of potential benefits for a healthful eating plan,” she explains.

These recipes, Roasted Bell Peppers and Eggplants in Vinegar, are a small sample of Susana’s palette.

To learn more about her artistic career and follow her on Facebook, visit Susana Saporiti’s page.


Roasted Bell Peppers

Note: Bell peppers’ nutritional content varies with their color (green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and black). Bell peppers are a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C and A, carotene, folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, and riboflavin. A bell pepper’s nutritional content increases as it ripens, so allow your bell peppers to ripen outside of the fridge before you eat them. Since high temperatures can damage the vegetable’s phytonutrients, eating your bell peppers raw maximizes their health benefits. Red bell peppers have a higher nutritional value than green, yellow or orange bell peppers. Purple or black bell peppers, which are usually more difficult to find, also have a high nutritional content, so if you ever see them at your local farmers market, make sure you give them a try, or even better, grow them at home!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 bell peppers (two orange, two red, and two yellow)
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves
  • black pepper corns (or any type of pepper corns)
  • 3 or 4 bay leaves
  • a big glass jar
  • vegetable or canola oil

PREPARATION:

  1. Wash the bell peppers and place them on a cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cookie sheet in oven and let the peppers bake for about an hour, or until they get wrinkly and brown.
  2. When they are ready, take them out of the oven and wrap them in newspaper (or any paper you have) until they cool off.
  3. Once they have cooled off, remove the paper, peel them and remove the seeds and stem. Cut them in slices and put them in the glass jar. Try to mix the colors and add the garlic cloves, bay leaves and pepper corns in between layers of peppers.
  4. Do not add salt. Salt can cause your peppers to spoil sooner.
  5. Finally, fill the jar with oil, enough to cover all the peppers. Do not use olive oil because it will thicken once refrigerated.

Eat your delicious roasted bell peppers in sandwiches or on crackers. Use them as a pizza toping or to decorate and enhance any dish!

“Once you ate all the peppers, you can recycle the oil and use it for salads or for cooking, or you can roast more bell peppers and refill the jar,” Susana says, and she adds, “They are great to accompany with a glass of wine!”


Eggplants in Vinegar

According to Susana, these marinated eggplants are simply delicious when served with bread or crackers. They are also a great compliment to salads and other dishes.

Note: Eggplants are rich in fiber and a great source of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese. They are also effective antioxidants and help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium eggplants (avoid big eggplants, the bigger they are, the more seeds they will have)
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • One or two bay leaves
  • Vegetable or canola oil

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut the eggplants in thick slices.
  2. Boil water in a large pot, and once water has begun to boil place the sliced eggplants in the boiling water. Allow eggplants to cook for three to five minutes. With a skimmer remove all the eggplant slices from the boiling water and place them in a colander to allow them to completely drain and cool off.
  3. Pour the vinegar and the water into the glass container. Season with chili flakes, oregano, bay leaves, pepper corns, or provenzal (parsley and chopped garlic). Add some oil and the garlic cloves into the jar as well.
  4. Add the eggplant slices to the jar and mix with the rest of the ingredients.

Buen provecho!

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