All posts tagged peppers

Harissa-Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Published October 24, 2013 by jenmatteson

This is my third and final whipped sweet potato recipe of the week.  And I have to say, I saved the best for last!

Harissa Whipped Sweet Potatoes

These whipped sweet potatoes are the same as the original, with the addition of harissa.  What’s harissa, you ask?  Great question.  Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili sauce whose main ingredient is roasted red peppers, with Serrano peppers, and other hot peppers, depending on the region it’s from.  With the addition of some herbs and spices, like garlic, caraway, coriander seed and chili powder, this seemingly simple sauce has a deep complex taste (Harissa can be found at Whole Foods and other specialty stores – don’t count on finding at your local grocer, I couldn’t).  Paired with the sweetness from the potato, this is a match made in heaven.  Give it a whirl for a new take on sweet potatoes!

Harissa Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Harissa- Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10-12 servings


6 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 large)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened or melted
1/2 cup sour cream (plain non-fat Greek yogurt would be great)
1/4 cup harissa
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce sweet potato several times with a fork and bake on baking sheet for about one hour, until very tender.  Let cool slightly.

2. Peel sweet potatoes, chop roughly and transfer to food processor.  Add butter, sour cream and harissa and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Recipe Swap: Jerk Mango Chicken Kebabs

Published July 26, 2013 by jenmatteson

The latest edition of recipe swap was a grilling/cookout theme, hosted by Sarah at A Taste of Home Cooking.  I was excited to be WC-Recipe-Swap-badge-1assigned a recipe from Kate’s Recipe Box for two reasons.  First, I hadn’t visited her site before, so it’s always exciting to explore new blogs and new blog friends!  The second reason I was excited is that it was chicken kebabs, something that I was positive Nate and I would love.

Jerk Mango Chicken Kebabs

The recipe was for jerk mango chicken kebabs, and it really couldn’t have been simpler.  Well, except for the mango part.  I’ve only worked with mango a handful of times, and I always have a hard time cutting it up without completely butchering it.  Mangos have these weird shaped pits that make cutting it into uniform shapes not so easy.  There are several sites with step by step tutorials and videos that will help walk you through it, but I’m still somewhat mango disabled.

Jerk Mango Chicken Kebabs

Although the mango wasn’t so beautiful, the kebabs were amazing.  I used green peppers and added onions just to have some extra veggies.  Usually, I like to keep veggies/fruit and meat on separate skewers due to their cooking times, but I did like the flavor that the mango added to the chicken.  For some reason, I always forget to spray the vegetables with some olive oil, so they did turn out a bit dry, but still delicious.  This is a great, quick recipe and would be perfect for entertaining this summer!

Jerk Mango Chicken Kebabs

Jerk Mango Chicken Kebabs

Source: Adapted from Kate’s Recipe Box
Servings: 4


juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
1 mango, cubed into 1″ pieces
1 bell pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 onion, cut into large wedges


1. In a large zip top bag, combine lime juice, chili powder, cayenne pepper, thyme, allspice, salt, garlic, brown sugar, cinnamon and chicken breast. Seal and toss ingredients to combine and coat chicken.  Refrigerate chicken in marinade for at least one hour.

2. If using wooden skewers, soak for at least 15 minutes before threading.

3. Preheat grill to medium high heat.  Thread skewers with chicken, mango, peppers and onions.  Grill for 10-12 minutes until chicken is cooked through, turning frequently to ensure even cooking.  Remove from heat and serve.

Checkout what the other ladies are grilling up for the cookout!

Meatless Monday: Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Published May 6, 2013 by jenmatteson

We are certainly not vegetarians, but we enjoy eating some vegetarian meals from time to time.  And by “we”, I mean I make them and Nate eats them because that’s what I made for dinner.  But usually there are no complaints.  Not only is eating a vegetarian meal from time to time healthful, but it’s also pretty budget friendly.  Quality meat can get so expensive, especially when you have it as part of each meal.  I usually only buy meat when it’s on sale – I always stock up on the BOGO sales on chicken breasts because we eat so much of it and it’s such an easy go-to meal.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

But what’s easier than chicken breasts?  No meat meals!  Unless I’m using dried beans, there is almost no pre-planning involved because I don’t have to remember to take anything out of the freezer beforehand.  Not only that, but it usually comes together in a cinch.  Many of my blogging friends do Meatless Mondays, which as the title indicates, is a vegetarian recipe.  I thought it’d be fun to try to add more Meatless Mondays into our lives and into my blog.  Variety is crucial in a well balanced life.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

For these stuffed peppers, I didn’t follow any particular recipe, although I did Google how long and at what temp I should cook them for.  Didn’t want to waste any of this delicious quinoa salad stuffing!  Speaking of wasting…after I had stuffed the peppers, I put the remaining quinoa salad into a container to save for lunches or another dinner.  In the morning, I went to grab it out of the fridge to pack for lunch, only to discover that it was gone.  And it wasn’t like a little bit, I could have stuffed at least four more peppers.  I immediately texted Nate with a sad face asking why he didn’t leave me any leftovers.  While I was waiting for a response, I went to grab a container to pack a salad in, and lo and behold, there sits my full container of quinoa salad, in my kitchen drawer.  Just then, I received a text from Nate saying sorry, but it was just a little salad.  I had completely forgot about the leftover salad, which really was like three bites.  I felt so bad for accusing him, though when we talked about it later, he did say he probably would have just taken the entire container to work.  Even though it sat out all night, given the ingredients, I figured it would be safe to keep.  Don’t judge!  But really, that’s how good it was – I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away!

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

The peppers turned out fantastic, and while they don’t look like a lot, eating a whole one is probably too large of a serving.  For presentation purposes, I didn’t want to cut the peppers in half, but we easily could have been full on a half stuffed pepper.  I mixed a little shredded pepper jack cheese in Nate’s pepper (don’t worry, none was in the “drawer leftovers”) and added a little to the top.  Of course, mine was cheese-less, so for you non-dairy eaters, it was still a fabulous meal!  The variety of fresh veggies, paired with the slightly firm pepper was a fabulous combination.  Add in a little taco seasoning, and you’ve got yourself a flavorful, healthy and filling vegetarian meal.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

What would you like to see next on Meatless Monday?

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: Makes 4


1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
3 tbsp taco seasoning
4 bell peppers (I used red, but use whatever color you wish), be sure to choose peppers that have an even bottom so they can stand on their own.
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (optional)
non-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)


1.  Add quinoa, water and taco seasoning to medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Using a paring knife, carefully cut the top of the peppers off, discarding the stem and seeds.  Set aside pepper bottoms and reserve any flesh from the tops and chop.  In a medium frying pan, spray with a small amount of cooking oil and heat over medium heat.  Add chopped pepper, onion, jalapeno and frozen corn.  Sauté for 4-6 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften, but are still slightly crisp.  Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

3. To the vegetables, add black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, cheese (optional) and cooked quinoa.  Fold together until well combined.  Spoon quinoa salad into peppers.  Fill so the salad is barely overflowing the pepper, and top with additional cheese (if desired).  Place peppers on foil lined baking sheet or dish (dish is nice in case they try to take a spill) and bake until pepper begins to soften and cheese begins to brown on top, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and garnish with Greek yogurt and/or additional cilantro.

Grilled Chicken with Green Chili, Tomatillo, and Avocado Sauce

Published April 6, 2012 by jenmatteson

I came across this recipe at Our Life in Food and it looked so wonderful!  I was hoping it would have a bit more heat, but honestly, I wasn’t really missing it.  Because the peppers are broiled, they don’t carry as much heat as they would if they were raw.  *Note to self, maybe next time I’ll keep the jalapenos raw.  Anyway, the sauce is so creamy and rich, it almost tastes like it should be bad for you, but it’s not!  This is a really simple grilled chicken with a fun sauce to dress it up.  There is a lot of leftover sauce, so I think I’ll try it with some pasta as others who have tried the recipe suggested.  Otherwise, it’d be excellent alternative to a guacamole as a dip.

I made only a few changes from the original recipe by using yogurt instead of half and half, an extra jalapeno and tomatillo, and garlic.  I also grilled the chicken with some paprika for extra flavor instead of sauteing it with just salt and pepper; baking would work here too.  Enjoy the sinful taste without the calories!

Grilled Chicken with Green Chili, Tomatillo, and Avocado Sauce

Source: Our Life in Food
Servings: 2 


1 onion, quartered
3 tomatillos, husked and halved
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
Olive oil
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
salt and pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp paprika


1. Place onion, tomatillos, and peppers on foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place under broiler until vegetables are soft and begin to blacken, about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

2. In a food processor, add broiled vegetables, avocado, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice.  Process until  well combined.  Add yogurt a little at a time to desired consistency and taste.  Add salt to taste.

3. Heat grill to medium, about 400 degrees.  Sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper on chicken breasts and drizzle with olive oil.  Grill for approximately 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through, flipping once.

4. Top chicken with green chili, tomatillo, and avocado sauce.  Leftover sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

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