Fall is often associated with pumpkin, and rightfully so as Halloween is the first holiday celebrated this season. From carving pumpkins to ordering this flavor at our favorite coffee shops, we notice the many fall facelifts companies do to their products to welcome this time of the year. While pumpkin is in the spotlight at the moment, it’s nice to appreciate the many other orange hued items that are available and just as fun to enjoy this season.
Cauliflower: I know what you’re thinking… “But cauliflower is white,” right? Typically yes, although, if you haven’t glance at the cauliflower section lately, you’ve missed the colorful assortment this vegetable now offers. The orange cauliflower comes from a genetic mutation that allows the plant to hold more beta carotene, providing 25% more vitamin A than the original, white cauliflower. Regardless of hue, you’ll find the same firmness, crumbly florets, and texture in all varieties, with minor differences in flavor amongst the orange version.
100% Pure Canned Pumpkin: Believe it or not, canned pumpkin can be used in a multitude of recipes other than the popular pumpkin pie. Pure pumpkin is just that, and nothing more. There’s no added sugars or spices, and using pure pumpkin enables you to adjust the level of sweetness and play around with a variety of spices to suit your personal taste.
Bell Pepper: Did you know that all bell peppers start out as green and change color as it ripens? The pepper makes its way from green to yellow and orange, and finally to red where it holds the sweetest flavor profile of them all. Bell peppers can make recipes appear more appealing a top salads, pizzas, and sandwiches with the more colors you use. In addition, the orange pepper makes for fun dinner ideas around this time of the year. Try carving out jack-o lantern faces in the side of the pepper and stuff them with your favorite fillings.
Enjoy everything pumpkin this month, but take the time to enjoy the other remarkable orange hued products that grocery stores have to offer!
Jack-O’-Lantern Stuffed Peppers
All you need:
6 orange bell peppers
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno, cored and diced
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup corn
1 cup salsa
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup mozzarella cheese
All you do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut off the top of each pepper. Remove and discard the cores and seeds. Using a sharp paring knife, carve a Jack O’Lantern face into each pepper carefully.
Drizzle the inside of each pepper with olive oil and place the peppers upright in an 8x8 baking dish.
Next, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté garlic, onions, and jalapeno until soft, about 5 minutes. Add beef to the pan and cook through until no pink remains.
Add rice, beans, and corn to the pan along with the salsa, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything together and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Divide beef mixture between the hallowed out peppers. Top with mozzarella cheese.
Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve warm!
Nutrition Facts per serving (1 stuffed pepper):
367 calories, 17 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 550 mg sodium, 32 g total carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 4 g total sugar, 0 g added sugar, 25 g protein
Wishing you all a healthy and happy Halloween!
Paige Green is a community dietitian at the Windsor Heights and Grand Avenue Hy-Vee. Paige is passionate about motivating and helping others achieve a happy, healthy lifestyle.