No matter what the season, you can never have too many healthy, easy-to-prepare vegetable dishes. In summer, when local gardens and farmers' markets have produce aplenty, you can establish a broad repertoire of recipes drawing from the many fruits and vegetables in season.
August's fare is particularly delicious and abundant. This is the time of year when, left to its own devices, zucchini can become large as a baseball bat. If you grow zucchini in your garden, you'll need a variety of recipes to use up the supply.
Zucchini and bell peppers are particularly versatile. Both are low in calories and have flavors that blend well with everything. Select small zucchini, which tends to be younger and more tender than the bigger ones.
It can be prepared in many different ways�sauteed, steamed, grilled, or stuffed and baked. Its blandness makes it a perfect foil for other flavors, and its sturdy texture makes it a good base for a soup or a stew. In this recipe, the zucchini is saut�ed for a mere 2 to 3 minutes, to maintain both flavor and innate crispness.
Bell peppers, available in most grocery stores in what we tend to think of as the standard green, are also available now in yellow, red, orange and even purple. In fact, most sweet peppers start life as green and change colors as they mature. Red is the sweetest of the bells and is actually a fully ripened green pepper with a milder flavor. Sweet peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A and C as well as the mineral potassium.
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The peppers add color and crispness to this recipe, which ends up being a beautiful medley of red, orange, green and yellow. It brightens any plate, whether you choose to serve it with other vegetables or a small portion of poultry or fish.
Fresh corn kernels, lightly sauteed, add to the interesting texture of the dish, topped off with toasted almonds. Nuts contain healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, vitamin E, protein, magnesium, potassium and dietary fiber.
The trick is to use them in moderation because they are high in calories. The good news is that a mere two tablespoons of lightly toasted almonds add just the right amount of satisfying crunch to the overall dish.
Marinated Peppers and Zucchini with Almonds
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 small zucchini, cut in half, then thinly sliced horizontally
- 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels, cut from the cob, or 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. lightly toasted sliced almonds
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Add peppers, zucchini and corn and saute over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and place in serving bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together remaining oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables and gently toss. Serve garnished with almonds.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
5 g. total fat
<1 g. saturated fat
8 g. carbohydrate
2 g. protein
less than 2 g. dietary fiber
8 mg. sodium
Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 Vegetable, 1 Fat
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