Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers with Garlic and Thyme

Roasted Sweet Peppers with Garlic and Thyme

This may sound like a teaser to those of you living in the snowing states, but Los Angeles, my friends, is living an early summer in the winter month of January. It almost sounds unfair. I hope I could send you some sunshine from here.

The heat wave shifted my food cravings. Summer means wanting to eat summery foods, like colorful sweet peppers. I recently bought a big bag of mini bell peppers and roasted them, just I do in the summer, to go with main dishes, such as grilled meats. I jazz the tiny peppers up with garlic and dried thyme and off they go in the oven. Winter or summer, fall or spring, roasted peppers are a big hit. It sort of rhymes!

Roasted Sweet Peppers with Garlic and Thyme

Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers with Garlic and Thyme

This is one recipe where you basically eyeball the ingredients. Use as many peppers as you baking pan will fit and as many servings you want to get from them. Use as much garlic as you wish  - want a deeper garlicky flavor, add more, and vise versa. The same with thyme but do not overdo with it – we just want a nice subtle thyme flavor. Instead of thyme you can use oregano, or use both at the same time. Follow your palate demands.

Also, if you don’t have mini peppers, you can use large bell peppers of various colors – cut them in half, core, and seed, then arrange on a baking sheet cut side up. Proceed with the rest of the steps as in the recipe below.

Serves about 6

Ingredients:

About 1 pound red, yellow, orange mini bell peppers, washed and pat-dried
3-4 garlic cloves, passed through a garlic pressor
A tablespoon of crushed dried thyme (substitute with oregano or use both)
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the peppers on the parchment. Sprinkle with garlic and thyme. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your hands to coat the peppers with the rest of the ingredients. Spread the peppers to form one layer.

Roast until the skin blisters and the flesh is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the roasted peppers to a serving platter. Serve immediately as a side dish.

Roasted Sweet Peppers with Garlic and Thyme

Healthy Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Healthy Cottage-Cheese Pancakes

Anyone here with New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and be fitter? I am raising my hand. You are welcome to join the club. You see, those happy holidays beginning from Thanksgiving and ending with New Year’s eve – all involving lots of delicious food  - took a toll on my weight. Not much, but still visible to my critical eye. And I am determined to go back to my pre-holidays routine - eating healthier, without overindulging, keeping in mind that moderation is key, and exercising.

Let’s start from today’s recipe. Healthy pancakes. It is possible? Yes, it is! I got the recipe from a new e-cookbook, just published by my friend, fitness and healthy living coach Ayka. She is a rock and so is her book! Check it out - 100 healthy recipes!

Back to pancakes. It’s a great recipe. No flour, no sugar is used here. Good ingredients only – oats, cottage cheese, banana, and egg whites. The result is absolutely amazing. The pancakes are tender to the bite and flavorful. Just right. Makes it easier to stick to my resolution.

Healthy Cottage-Cheese Pancakes

Healthy Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Adapted from Ayka’s 100 Healthy Recipes

Makes 8 small pancakes (1 pancake – 42.5 cal, 4 pancakes -170 cal)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup reduced fat cottage cheese *
3 large egg whites
1/2 small banana
1 teaspoon baking powder (do not use baking soda)
Drop of vanilla extract
Cinnamon to taste (optional)

Method:
Put the ingredients into a blender and blend until well mixed, a few seconds. Your pancake batter is ready. It will be pourable but not too runny.

Heat  a non-stick frying pan or a griddle pan over medium heat and spray it with fat-free cooking spray or use any oil of your choice (coconut oil works great).

Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter for each pancake into the pan, cover with a lid and cook until the pancakes hold their shape are have slightly puffed up (do not expect them to puff up dramatically – a little puffing is normal), and have browned on the bottom, about a minute, then flip and cook the other side for another minute or so.

Serve the pancakes immediately, drizzling them with honey.

* You can substitute cottage cheese with curd cheese or farmer’s cheese. Note, however, that the three ingredients have a different texture, cottage cheese being softer and watery, curd cheese being less watery, while farmer’s cheese dry and dense. If using curd cheese or farmer’s cheese, add 2-3 tablespoons or more as needed of milk to the batter.

Healthy Cottage-Cheese Pancakes

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