Nutrition Notes: National Herb Week

The first week of May is National Herb Week, and the chili pepper is the herb of the year for 2016. Chili peppers are good sources of vitamin C, most of the B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and iron, and can range from sweet (like bell peppers) to spicy (like ghost peppers) in taste. They come in a rainbow of colors, shapes and sizes.Stuffed peppers are a perfectly flavorful way to celebrate National Herb Week this year. To make stuffed peppers, a variety of peppers like bell peppers and poblano peppers may be used. And herbs like mint, oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro, rosemary and fennel may be used fresh or dried to add zest.Here are some tips to keep herbs fresh and flavorful for the longest possible time:- Store fresh herbs unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.- Herbs whose leaves wilt or brown easily may be stored in a glass of water with the stems in water and a plastic bag loosely covering the leaves.- Wash hands in soapy water and fresh herbs thoroughly in cold water before using them. This helps minimize bacterial contamination.- Heat and light can destroy the flavor in dried herbs. Store dried herbs in airtight containers away from heat and light, in pantry shelves.Here is the recipe of stuffed minty bell peppers.Recipe: Stuffed Minty Bell PeppersPreparation time: 30 minutesIngredients:- 2 bell peppers, cored and halved- ½ cup mushrooms, chopped- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped- ¼ cup mint, finely chopped- ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped- ½ cup cooked rice- 1 tbsp olive oil- Salt and pepper to taste- 1 tbsp lemon juiceDirections:1. Preheat oven at 400°F.2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes.3. Add mint, cilantro, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.4. Cook rice according to directions and blend with the sautéed mixture.5. Take the pan off heat and stuff the rice mixture into the peppers.6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until peppers are soft and browned on the edges.7. Serve warm as is or with a dollop of Greek yogurt.References: