Thursday, June 7, 2012

Buy Fresh,Organic & Local ! The Clark's Stuffed Peppers Recipe

                     Every two weeks I go to my local fresh market  to purchase
                                   fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season..

                                        As soon as I get  home from the Fresh Market,
                                  I wash all the produce so it is clean & ready for use!

Washing Produce Safely 


                                       Raw produce is not ready-to-eat produce!
   Before using it, you need to wash produce, fruits, vegetables, lettuces, properly.

What should be washed?
 Any produce item that sits on a table or cooler at the grocery store and that does not have a bag or plastic wrap on it should be washed. Bagged salads and items that are already cut, like carrot and celery sticks, will already have been washed. The basic rule of thumb is that it if has a sticker on it (the grocery store UPC code), it should be washed. The other rule of thumb – since you have two thumbs – is that if there’s a chance that someone else touched it with bare hands before you bought it, wash it!

How should I wash it?
It depends on what IT is. Hard-rind fruit – like lemons, limes, or melons – are pretty simple to do: place them in cold running water and rub with a brush or your hands.
Produce like peppers, apples and potatoes, which have edible rinds, should be scrubbed with a brush or hands as well, but be sure to get any dirt that might be caked on, especially with potatoes and yams.
Lettuces, celery, and other leafy or stalk produce should be separated and then washed, because dirt and germs may be inside the folds and root ends. The best practice is to wash them completely and safely by separating them first, and then washing with the hands or vegetable brush.
                                                        (I use Fit-Vegetable wash)

What about vegetable washes?
Studies vary, but there is evidence that vegetable washes do work better than plain water. However, don’t rush out to buy them; the good old standby of cold or lukewarm water, combined with a good rubbing or brushing with a vegetable brush (rather than just letting water run over the produce), can remove germs, soil, wax, and pesticides.
 The distance that food travels from farm to plate is certainly important, so is how food is packaged, how it is grown, how it is processed and how it is transported to market.
There are many reasons for eating local food — from supporting local farmers to a desire for fresher, potentially GREENER  food. 

Top Twelve Reasons to Eat Locally

  1. Freshness. Locally-grown organic fruits and vegetables are usually harvested within 24 hours of being purchased by the consumer. Produce from California can't be that fresh.
  2. Taste. Produce picked and eaten at the height of freshness tastes better.
  3. Nutrition. Nutritional value declines, often dramatically, as time passes after harvest. Because locally-grown produce is freshest, it is more nutritionally complete.
  4. Purity. Eighty percent of American adults say they are concerned about the safety of the food they eat. They worry about residues of pesticides and fungicides. These materials are not permitted in an organic production system either before or after harvest.
  5. Regional Economic Health. Buying locally grown food keeps money within the community. This contributes to the health of all sectors of the local economy, increasing the local quality of life.
  6. Variety. Organic farmers selling locally are not limited to the few varieties that are bred for long distance shipping, high yields, and shelf life. Often they raise and sell wonderful unusual varieties you will never find on supermarket shelves.
  7. Soil Stewardship. Soil health is essential for the survival of our species. Conventional farming practices are rapidly depleting topsoil fertility. Creating and sustaining soil fertility is the major objective for organic growers.
  8. Energy Conservation. Buying locally grown organic foods decreases dependence on petroleum, a non- renewable energy source. One fifth of all petroleum now used in the United States is used in Agriculture. Organic production systems do not rely upon the input of petroleum derived fertilizers and pesticides and thus save energy at the farm. Buying from local producers conserves additional energy at the distribution level.
  9. Environmental Protection. Soil erosion; pesticide contamination of soil, air, and water; nitrate loading of waterways and wells; and elimination of planetary biodiversity are some of the problems associated with today's predominate farming methods. Organic growers use practices that protect soil, air, and water resources; and that promote biodiversity.
  10. Cost. Conventional food processes don't reflect the hidden costs of the environmental, health and social consequences of predominate production practices- of, for instance, correcting a water supply polluted by agricultural runoff, or obtaining medical treatment for pesticide induced illness suffered by farmers or consumers. When these and other hidden costs are taken into account, as they should be, locally grown organic foods are seen clearly for the value they are, even if they cost a few pennies more.
  11. A Step Toward Regional Food Self Reliance. Dependency on far away food sources leaves a region vulnerable to supply disruptions, and removes any real accountability of producer to consumer. It also tends to promote larger, less diversified farms that hurt both the environment and local economies/communities. Regional food production systems, on the other hand, keep the food supply in the hands of many, providing interesting job and self-employment opportunities, and enabling people to influence how their food is grown.
  12. Passing on the Stewardship Ethic. When you buy locally produced organic food you cannot help but raise the consciousness of your friends and family about how food buying decisions can make a difference in your life and the life of your community; and about how this basic act is connected to planetary issues.
Here is a great website to search  Farmer Markets for  sustainable food :
eat well everywhere with eat well guide
Click Here:

My Organic Guru:Sara Snow - She got me involved in eating organic and going green!
I'm not perfect but I'm improving everyday.

                                    Make sure once you purchase your produce
                                           to use up quickly before it goes bad.

                     You should  have atleast 5 servings of fruit & veggies a  day.

                                                 I always have fruit for Breakfast , 
                                        normally a 1/2 banana in my protein shake
                                or blueberries with yogurt and I pack fruit with lunch
                                                           ex: cherries or grapes.

                                       I  use up the veggies during the week with 
                                               preparing salads &  dinner recipes .

                                        My husband & I made the recipe below 
                                 from the peppers I brought home from the market. 

                                           We enjoy cooking together in the Kitchen!

                       The Clark's Stuffed Peppers

   Green peppers stuffed with ground turkey and jasmine rice and topped with  tomato sauce. 


    1 pound ground turkey
    1 cup uncooked brown,jasmine, or white rice
    3 cups water
    6 peppers(combo of any color bell pepper & banana pepper)
    2 (8 ounce) cans tomato soup
    1-2 garlic cloves(Minced)
    1/4 cup onion -diced
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or parsley  
    1 egg
Optional -1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    * SHORTCUT- I use microwaveable pkg of rice. 

                                          Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

                                    Mince Garlic and place in Mixing bowl.

                               Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes 
                                                of the bell & banana peppers.

                                    Add the peppers (even the lids)to a pot of water 
                                             and boil until peppers are tender.

                                                               Turning the peppers .
                                                  My husband's  Tip: A wooden spoon 
                     laid on top of the pot will stop the water from boiling over.

                                          Add groud turkey to mixing bowl.
                                                     Dice & saute onions.

Add onions to bowl
                                      along with the microwaveable bag of rice .

Add spices to bowl
                                                         (Fresh if you have it)

                                                                    Salt & Pepper

                               Remove peppers from boiling water and let cool .

                                                  Dice the pepper lids into small pieces.

                                                              Add to mixing bowl.

                                                         Add  another layer of salt & pepper.

                                                           Mix until well combined.

                         Stuff  an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper.

                                             Spray baking pan with a non stick spray.
                                                            Place peppers in pan .
                                                                Continue stuffing! 
                                                I use a spoon for the banana peppers.

                        I omitted 2 peppers because my husband wanted 1 lg plain ball.
                                       Place remaining peppers in a deep baking pan.
                                                               Cover with foil.

                                              Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven.
After an hour remove peppers from oven.
Drain juices.
                                          Add the tomato soup on top of the peppers.

                                           Cook for another 25 minutes -uncovered.
                                               Remove from oven  & plate

     *     Optional add Parmesan cheese on top of  stuffed peppers.


No comments :

Post a Comment