As students, when we buy food, we often like to cut corners and we don’t always make the healthiest decisions. We buy fruit and vegetables to make us feel better, but, more often than not, they end up migrating to the back of the fridge and going soft until someone throws them away.
One common victim of this cruel treatment is the humble red pepper; a fruit (that’s right, it’s not actually a vegetable) so versatile it really shouldn’t be met with the sad fate of the bin. So, here are five easy recipes to help you stay healthy and put the peppers you have left in the fridge to good use.
The stir-fry is the ultimate meal if you’re looking to use up all of those leftovers, especially red peppers. Allow the recipe below to serve as a guide, but feel free to add in anything else in your fridge too!
- Red pepper
- Mini sweet corn
- Beansprouts/cooked rice/cooked noodles (whatever you have lying around)
- Soy sauce
- Start by cutting up all of your vegetables.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
- Place vegetables in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add your choice of beansprouts/cooked rice/cooked noodles to the pan along with some soy sauce for flavouring.
- Cook for another 3-5 minutes before plating up.
Red Pepper Snack
- Left over red peppers
- Dip of choice (guacamole, hummus, etc.)
- Cut the peppers into thin strips (you could also do the same with any carrots or cucumber you have left over).
- Dunk into the dip of your choice. This is a really healthy, but tasty snack which can be enjoyed both at home and the library.
Stuffed peppers may seem like a faff, but they’re a lot easier to make than they may seem. Hopefully this recipe will encourage you to give them a go!
- 2 Red bell peppers
- 200g Mince beef
- 3 Spring onions
- A tin of plum tomatoes (sundried also work well)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 150g Rice
- Grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan are best)
- Prep your peppers by cutting off the top and removing the seeds and white membrane inside.
- Next, cut the spring onions up small and prep the garlic.
- Then, place some oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and fry the mince beef until browned.
- Add the spring onions, garlic, paprika to taste and plum tomatoes (making sure to break the tomatoes up in the pan).
- While this mixture simmers, cook your rice, which you should then add to the frying pan.
- Once everything is mixed, spoon the mixture into your peppers before topping with grated cheese.
- Place in the oven for around 25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.
- Enjoy your delicious meal!
Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
This hearty recipe is perfect for the cold winter months, and makes a great lunch or dinner when served with some fresh bread.
- 3 Red peppers
- 1 White onion
- 2 Celery sticks
- A tin of plum tomatoes
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp Tomato puree
- 1 tsp Chilli flakes
- 25g Butter
- 250ml Vegetable stock
- Cut the peppers up into quarters, removing the seeds and membrane.
- Brush the peppers with some oil and then place into a pre-heated oven (set at 200 degrees) for 30 minutes.
- Dice the celery and onion and put them in a pan with the butter on a medium heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened.
- Crush the garlic and add to pan for another minute before adding the vegetable stock, chilli flakes and tomato puree to the pan also.
- Remove peppers from the oven and throw them into the pan alongside the plum tomatoes.
- Over a low heat use a hand blender to blend the soup until it is smooth, season to taste and allow it to simmer until ready to serve.
A veggie omelette is the perfect way to use up left over vegetables no matter what time of day it is!
- 4 Eggs
- Left-over red peppers
- Any other left-over vegetables (I’d suggest tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. These veggies all work well in this).
- Knob of butter
- Begin by dicing all of your vegetables up nice and small.
- If using onions and mushrooms, add a little oil to the pan and sauté them for 3-4 minutes.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together to ensure a fluffy omelette.
- Add the peppers and tomatoes to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, or until tender.
- Remove all of the vegetables from the pan and combine with the eggs.
- Place a knob of butter in the pan, making sure it coats the bottom evenly.
- Add the egg mixture back to the plan and allow to cook until the eggs at the bottom are solid but not burning. Then, flip the omelette and cook for another 2 minutes before transferring to a plate to serve.
Featured image courtesy of Will Burdette via Flickr. Image license found here.
Article image 1 courtesy of HilaryQuinn via Flickr. Image license found here.
Article image 2 courtesy of Neil Conway via Flickr. Image license found here.