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Scientific Classification

C. annuum
Binomial name
Capsicum annuum
Bell pepper or sweet pepper is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum (chili pepper). Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow and orange. The fruit is also frequently consumed in its unripe form, when the fruit is still green. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as “sweet peppers”. Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries. Today, Mexico remains one of the major pepper producers in the world.
The misleading name “pepper” (pimiento in Spanish) was given by Christopher Columbus upon bringing the plant back to Europe. At that time peppercorns, the fruit of Piper nigrum, an unrelated plant originating from India, were a highly prized condiment; the name “pepper” was at that time applied in Europe to all known spices with a hot and pungent taste and so naturally extended to the newly discovered Capsicum family. The most commonly used alternative name of the plant family, “chili,” is of Central American origin. Bell peppers are botanically fruits, but are generally considered in culinary contexts to be vegetables. When cut off, the top of the bell pepper is referred to as a “pepper pan.”
While the bell pepper is a member of the Capsicum family, it is the only Capsicum that does not produce capsaicin,[1] a lipophilic chemical that can cause a strong burning sensation when it comes in contact with mucous membranes. The lack of capsaicin in bell peppers is due to a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin and, consequently, the “hot” taste usually associated with the rest of the Capsicum family.[2]
The color can be green, red, yellow, orange and more rarely, white, rainbow (this is because it is between stages of ripening) and purple, depending on when they are harvested and the specific cultivar. Green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than red, yellow or orange peppers. The taste of ripe peppers can also vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment; the sweetest are fruit allowed to ripen fully on the plant in full sunshine, while fruit harvested green and after-ripened in storage are less sweet.

Nutritional Value
Pepper, sweet, green raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
84 kJ (20 kcal)
4.64 g
2.40 g
Dietary fiber
1.7 g
0.17 g
0.86 g
Thiamine (Vit. B1)
0.057 mg (4%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2)
0.028 mg (2%)
Niacin (Vit. B3)
0.480 mg (3%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.099 mg (2%)
Vitamin B6
0.224 mg (17%)
Folate (Vit. B9)
10 μg (3%)
Vitamin C
80.4 mg (134%)
10 mg (1%)
0.34 mg (3%)
10 mg (3%)
20 mg (3%)
175 mg (4%)
0.13 mg (1%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
Compared to green peppers, red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. The level of carotene, another antioxidant, is nine times higher in red peppers. Red peppers also have twice the vitamin C content of green peppers.[4]
Orange bell peppers are both juicy and sweet, and because they contain less than half the calories of an orange, orange bell peppers are pre-eminently appropriate as a refreshing, low-calorie food, both raw or prepared in any dish. They can be eaten raw without having indigestion later.

Maria’s Chunky Salsa
Submitted by Maria Torres
4-5 cups diced Roma tomatoes
½ of one red, yellow, and white onion (diced)
½ of one red, yellow, gold and orange bell pepper (diced)
4-5 Jalapeños
3-4 Serrano
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. of cumin
Juice from 1 lemon and 1 lime
1 can of diced tomatoes
Instructions: Dice up all the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and mash the garlic. Mix all ingredients together. Salt to taste.
Tropical Fruit Salsa
Submitted by Maria Torres
1 mango, diced
1 papaya, diced
½ cup diced red bell pepper
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 diced jalapeño
Juice from ½ a lime
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. red chili flakes
2 tsp. fresh cilantro
¼ tsp. of roasted sesame seeds
¼ tsp. of salt
Instructions: Combine all ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Asian Vinaigrette Salad w/ Sesame Tuna or Chicken or Tofu [serves 4]
Submitted by Melanie Lorenz
Arugula [torn] 1 cup +
Carrot [shredded] 2 large carrots
Cucumber [diced] 1 large
Lettuce [torn] 1 cup +
Peppers, Red [julienne] 1
Radish [sliced] 4 or so
Spinach [torn] 1 cup +
Spring Onions [Green] [chopped] 4 or so
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
2 T sesame oil, separated in 1/2, 1/2 reserved for protein
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c rice wine vinegar
pinch of freshly grated ginger
2 t brown sugar
1 T spicy mustard
2 pinches of garlic powder
salt/pepper to taste
1 T soy sauce
To make the dressing mix all ingredients EXCEPT oil, once everything is mixed add oil, and stir vigorously to emulsify, add seasoning to taste, I like to add red pepper flakes for a bit of spice!
4 [4-6 oz] chicken breast filets, OR tuna steaks, OR firm tofu slabs/chunks
Sesame Seeds [toasted or black]
Brush protein with sesame oil, salt and pepper, and roll in sesame seeds. [Tofu, you may want to just sprinkle seeds on salad later, up to you.]
Spray a pan with non cook spray and cook on medium heat until desired done-ness.
Layer the salad vegetables, add the protein and garnish, stir dressing again, and pour over a couple tablespoons.
Gluten Free Authentic Korean Chicken
Submitted by Louisa Wright
6 chicken breasts
¼ c. soy sauce
½ c. corn starch
¼ c. oil
1 c. chopped celery
25 or so snap peas (or snow peas)
1 c. chopped green onions and tops
1 c. chopped green pepper
1 c. carrots (parboiled)
1 c. mushrooms
½ c. cashews (optional)
1.Cut chicken breasts in to 1 inch cubes and marinate in the soy sauce overnight.
2.Roll pieces of chicken in cornstarch until thoroughly coated.
3.Brown chicken in as little as oil as possible.
4.When chicken is nice and browned, add all the vegetables and cashews if preferred.
5.Stir constantly to keep from burning vegetables and cook over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender.
Serves 6.  Serve immediately over rice.