Is there pleasure in pain? Okay, I’m talking about spicy food. 🙂 Have you had the experience of taking a bite of something spicy, your mouth gets hot, beads of sweat start forming, your nose starts running, but you don’t stop eating because it tastes so good? Well, capsaicin is the culprit…
Peppers are part of the capsicum family. Capsaicinoids give that burning sensation you get when you eat a pepper. The amount of capsaicin in the pepper determines how hot the pepper will be. All types of peppers, from cayenne to bell peppers have some degree of capsaicin.
Peppers are source of vitamin A from its carotenoids. Beta-carotene found in peppers is an antioxidant, which is useful in preventing the free radical damage that can lead to cell damage and heart disease. Peppers are also a source of Vitamins K, and Vitamin C.
Eating peppers has a thermogenic effect, meaning it causes an increase in heat production in the body to burn more calories.
Capsaicin can help clear out congested nasal passages by stimulating the secretions.
Capsaicin, a compound in hot peppers, has been found effective for relieving headaches. Topical application of capsaicin can help relief arthritis pain.
Southwestern Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Vegetarian Times
The southwestern style beans gives this dish its heat. If you can’t find this variety you can substitute plain black beans and add a tablespoon of finely diced jalapeño.= and increase the broth by 1/2 cup.
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 15-oz. can southwestern black beans with jalapeño and lime
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1 lime
- 1/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
- 4 large bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
- Prepare Quinoa according to package directions.
- In a separate pan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add cumin and sauté 1 minute.
- Stir in can of black beans and broth, cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add fresh spinach, continue to cook until spinach is wilted.
- Add cooked quinoa to pan and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Fill each bell pepper half with heaping of quinoa mixture, top with cheese, and place in baking dish.
- Bake 30 minutes or until pepper is to desired firmness. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with fresh squeezed lime before serving.
What’s you stand? Peppers: pleasure or pain?