The Ultimately Versatile Rainbow Dish

Phil and I cooked up a great Sunday dinner this past weekend.  We, by chance, found ourselves in Manhattan near a Whole Foods and what else do food-lovers do when they find themselves near a beautiful, mostly organic grocery store?  Get really excited to do some food shopping, of course!  The Whole Foods in Brooklyn can’t open fast enough!  (Are we total nerds? ;-))

Phil had a hankering for meat (which is quite normal) and before I even realized, he was chatting away with the butcher ordering some sweet, Italian sausage and a thick piece of beef.  I can’t make him eat quinoa and veggies every day, I suppose. ;-)

So, being the nutritionally savvy, vegetable-loving, good wife that I am, I ran back to the produce section and grabbed the three most beautiful colored peppers that I could find which wasn’t very hard because I actually had to stare and marvel over the red, green, yellow and orange peppers stacked up. They were so vibrant, I should have taken a picture.  (Okay, yes, I am a big foodie nerd!)  Or maybe the interior decorators/lighting designers at Whole Foods know just how to light their produce to look so incredibly tempting?  I grabbed a red, yellow and green pepper and we were out the door.

To prepare, I heated up a large pan with a good coating of olive oil on the bottom.  I sliced up the peppers, one red onion and two cloves of garlic and tossed them all into the pan.  All of the colors were so pretty, it made me so excited to eat!  I tossed the peppers, onion and garlic around, getting them all nicely coated in the olive oil.  I covered the pan and in the mean time, coarsely chopped some sprigs of parsley.  After a few minutes, when I felt the peppers had cooked enough (you don’t want to over-cook vegetables because they lose their nutritive properties) I added the parsley on top.

Doesn’t that look awesome!?  Not to mention, the more variation in the colors of the food you are eating, the healthier you are probably eating (a McDonalds cheeseburger with pickles, onions and ketchup doesn’t count).

With a large spoon full of brown basmati rice topped with the peppers and a little sweet Italian sausage on the side, the meal was complete.  For Phil, the meat was the main event.  For me, it was all about the peppers.  I prefer to eat “mostly plants” as Michael Pollan says in In Defense of Food.  (Ooh! I just added that one along with Food Rules to my Book List!)

The thing I like about this pepper side-dish is that is has ultimate versatility because it not only goes with sausage but will pair beautifully with steak, chicken or fish.  And, for a vegetarian dish, it would be delicious mixed with some quinoa and it’s definitely great with brown basmati rice.  (In fact, I had the left-over rice and peppers for lunch yesterday.)  It’s light and fresh so it’s great for summer.  Another idea, instead of cooking, is to leave it cool and crisp and toss with some spinach, maybe a little quinoa, and a nice vinaigrette for an awesome summer salad.  …I think I smell another recipe brewing…. :)

Love and healthy eating to you all!

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