Fresh Summer Favorites
When July is in full swing, my culinary thoughts turn to a trio of vegetables that are in their prime right now. Fresh sweet corn, ripe, juicy tomatoes, and plump bell peppers are my favorite summer vegetables. They are so versatile and well-liked, that it's easy to create a tasty dish every night of the week. From salads to casseroles, they are a treat to look at and to eat, with a bonus of great nutritional value.
Tomatoes are a source of vitamins C, A, and K, and are also a source of important minerals, such as potassium and manganese. In addition, they are rich in lycopene, important for protection from many diseases.
Although we are discussing bell peppers, one cup of peppers of any kind provides 291% of daily vitamin C requirements, and 104% of vitamin A. The concentration of beta carotene prevents damage from free radicals, associated with heart disease.
Sweet corn is an unripe, whole grain and is loaded with fiber. One cup provides us with 25% of our daily B1, and 20% of folate, fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus, manganese and vitamin B5, a nutritional bargain at only 117 calories.
There are so many ways to prepare these popular vegetables that it was hard to choose from all the recipes submitted by Calorie Count members. We've tried to select some that are popular, unique and nutritious.
- Corn, Tomato and Pepper Salsa Salad - Lime juice and chile peppers add a special zing to this wonderful combination. It's best if refrigerated for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.
- Tomato Casserole - Bread and grated cheese make it hearty and satisfying, yet it's only 118 calories a serving.
- Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers - This delightful version of stuffed peppers has all three of our summer trio. The flavor is brightened with fresh basil and garlic.