The recipe I’m sharing with you today is an adaption of a recipe my mom makes every summer as often as possible. It’s one of my favorite summer recipes, although it’s made on the stove. Luckily, it’s one of those low maintance recipes I love – you can kinda put it on the stove and let it stew on a low temperature without giving it much attention.
So, as my summer nostalgia is kicking in (yes, I’m aware it’s June, but looking out of my windows doesn’t support that fact), it was only logical to reach out & recreate one of my favorites.
As you may know, I decided to enjoy summer in my head, if not IRL. I personally use this recipe to bring me home where the sun is waaaaaaay out, the weather is hot, the sea is just a few steps away from the house & people complain how hot it is outside.
You can use it to to boost your nutrient intake while enjoying the rich taste & vibrat colors of the meal.
While my mom would usually serve bell pepper stew with chicken fried with bread crumbs, I’m choosing grilled or baked chicken or fish instead.
I’m not a big fan of frying, it’s too messy & requires too much of my attention + time.
Grilling or baking are much easier for me – I let Steffen grill (and pretty much do anything with meat, I avoid it) or I just drop marinated chicken or fish in the oven & come back when it’s done.
No mess. Easy peasy.
And a healthier option. 🙂
Ingredients we’re gonna use are, as usual, simple, delicious & nutritious.
I invite you, as with all of my recipes, to play with it. I see kitchen as a playground for health – be creative. In fact, I rarely make exactly the same recipe twice (except for testing purposes) – it’s like painting a masterpiece, go where the feelings take you. Don’t be scared to experiment. Artists don’t create the same piece again & again. You don’t have to, either. Play.
Main ingredient we’re playing with are bell peppers. Now, I love these little colorful buddies. Without any nutrition knowledge, just when you look at how vibrant & inviting they are – it’s only logical they’re packed with goodies! Don’t you agree?
Of course, looks is not where the magic stops.
Less than one cup will take care of your vitamin C needs! They’re also rich in carotenoids – powerful antioxidants which can magically turn to vitamin A in our bodies (though, not all of them) – I love carotenoid rich foods, and bell peppers are a great source. They contain around ten different varieties of carotenoids.
Another phytonutrients bell peppers contain are flavonoids – also powerful antioxidants.
All of these antioxidants protect us from various diseases, including but not limited to cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases connected to oxidative stress. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.
They contain vitamin B6, E, folate & of course, they’re rich in fiber. Bell peppers also contain smaller quantities of other B vitamins and a few minerals.
Gotta love them!
Red onions are my favorites – not only do they elevate almost any dish, they’re also packed with goodies!
They contain vitamin C, folate & potassium, but that’s not exactly why they’re so interesting. Best part, as far as nutrition goes, are their plant compounds, including sulfur compounds & antioxidants (mainly flavonoids). They also act anti-microbial.
However, cooking onions reduces their antioxidant properties. Nonetheless, they’re worth mentioning.
Sulfur compunds are also found in garlic. They’re super healthy, can help reduce blood pressure & keep our heart healthy. Garlic strengthens our immune system, improves cholesterol levels, is absolutely packed with antioxidants & micronutrients – manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6 & selenium, among others. And it tastes sooo good!
Next beautiful ingredient we’ll need are champignon (white button) mushrooms. They can reduce risk of heart disease & cancer.
They also increase activity of our natural killer cells – the ones that travel around our bodies finding invaders & destroying them (how cool are they :D) (1)
As far as vitamins & minerals go, these little buttons will serve us with a bit of vitamin C, folate & pantothenic acid, as well as copper, selenium & potassium.
What I add to this summer stew is buckwheat – you can add it as well, but it’s not a must-have. If you’re eating the stew with some other carbs, you can omit buckwheat. I add it because I love it. I love it in savory & sweet dishes. I love it for breakfast, lunch & dinner. And for cakes (yes, I’ll share it with you :))
In just 100g you’ll get 35%DV niacin, 25%DV riboflavin, around 10%DV vitamin B6, a little bit of folate & thiamin. Amazing!
It’s also packed with fiber, which I’ll repeat as often as possible, is super important!
Buchwheat shines when it comes to minerals – just 100g contain almost 60% of our daily magnesium needs (you may wanna include buchwheat into your PMS diet :)). Magnesium is a part of around 300 enzymes. Our body loves it – it’s important for heart health, bone health, muscle contraction & energy + protein production.
It also contains around 60%DV of manganese, which is an important mineral. It’s beneficial for our bones, has antioxidative properties & regulates our metabolism – among other functions.
Copper in buchwheat is essential for our well-being. It helps maintain healthy blood vessels, bones & nerves. It also helps absorb iron, which is cool because buchwheat also contains small amounts of iron.
Although phosphorus is not exactly a critical mineral – we tend to consume enough, it’s pretty cool – it’s important for our bones, teeth, for DNA + RNA, for using some of vitamins & minerals etc. 100g buckwheat will give us around 35%DV.
Now you can see why I’m such a huge fan of buchwheat (& you should be too) – it’s amazing, so nutrient dense!
We’re also going to toss in some diced tomatoes for extra antioxidant kick & of course, olive oil for a healthy fat component of the meal!
Also, I love eating this warm as well as cold – I prepare more than needed & enjoy it for a few days.
WHY YOU SHOULD EAT IT:
- Bell peppers: carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamins C, B6, E, folate & fiber
- Red onions: vitamin C, folate, potassium, sulfur compounds, flavonoids
- Garlic: sulfur compounds (allicin), vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium, manganese
- White button mushrooms: vitamin C, folate, pantothenic acid, copper, selenium, potassium & antioxidants
- Buckwheat: niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, fiber
- Tomatoes: vitamin C, K, folate, potassium, antioxidants – lycopene being the star among them, but also beta-carotene, clorogenic acid etc.
- Olive oil: monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E
BELL PEPPERS & WHITE BUTTON MUSHROOM SUMMER STEW
Easy summer side dish
- 2 tbsp olive oil cold pressed, extra virgin
- 2 garlic cloves sliced
- 2 little red onions sliced
- 5 cups (400g) white button mushrooms sliced
- ca. 1 pound (500g) bell peppers, ca. 3 large ones diced
- 2 1/2 cups (500g) tomatoes diced, glass jar bought
- 1/2 cup (100g) buckwheat
- Salt & pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skiller or sauté pan. Add onions & garlic, saute for a few mins, until tender.
Add mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes & buckwheat. Stir to combine.
Cover with a lid & let it simmer on a low to medmium heat for around 30 to 40 mins. Stir ocassionaly - I do it ca. every 10mins,
When it's almost done, after around 25-30mins, salt & pepper to taste.
Try if everything is cooked. Everything should be tender & buckwheat done.
If yes - enjoy! If not, let it simmer a bit longer.
What your favorite childhood summer dish that brings you home?
Let me know when you make it – make sure to snap a pic & post on ‘Gram with #ninasempire – I’m super excited to see it!
Lots of love,