February Super Food - Chili Peppers

For the month of February, we will be enjoying all that Chili Peppers have to offer.

  • Chili peppers are widely used in many cuisines as a spice to add heat to dishes. Some of the more common pepper you may see in local grocery stores are bell pepper, poblano peppers, jalapeno and habanero peppers. Chili pepper pods are, technically, berries. When used fresh, they are most often prepared and eaten like a vegetable. Whole pods can be dried and then crushed or ground into chili powder that is used as a spice or seasoning. Chilies can be dried to prolong their shelf life. Chili peppers can also be preserved by brining, immersing the pods in oil, or by pickling.
  • They can pack some health benefit when eaten in conjunction with an appropriate diet. Red chilies tend to be high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is not a cure for the common cold, but it may aid in protection against cardiovascular disease, eye disease and even skin wrinkling. Chilies are also high in Vitamin A, Copper (often lacking the Western Diet), and Vitamin B 6. Potassium Capsaicin, the chemical in chili peppers that makes them hot, is used as an analgesic in topical ointments, nasal sprays, and dermal patches to relieve pain.
  • Chili peppers are low in calories; one cup provides ~40 calories

Recipes

Zucchini Pico de Gallo Salsa

Nutritional information: Per Serving (1/4 cup): 10 Calories, 0 Grams Fat, 68 mg Sodium, 2 grams Carbohydrate, 1 gram Fiber, 0 gram protein

IngredientsPico de Gallo

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 seeded and diced jalapeno pepper (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice

Directions

  1. Combine the first 9 ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add lime juice; toss to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  4. Serve w/ chips or eat as a side with a fork.

Grilled Jerk Chicken

Nutritional information: Per Serving (1 chicken breast and 1 thigh): 444 Calories, 21 grams fat, 741 mg of sodium, 6 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber and 56 grams protein

IngredientsJerk Chicken

  • 4 tsp. curry powder
  • 4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 4 tsp. paprika
  • 3 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 4 bone in chicken breast halves w/ skin
  • 4 bone in chicken thighs

Directions

  1. In small bowl, combine first 8 ingredients; rub over chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Grilled the chicken covered, over indirect medium heat for 30-40 minutes or until a thermometer reaches 165 degrees.