As the weather cools down, I find myself wanting to eat warm foods – soups, stews, baked pasta casseroles, and all those other comforting warm dishes. I find that I don’t want to eat as many salads and fresh vegetables – I just don’t like the idea of munching on cold things. And while there are many healthy fall and winter foods out there, such as vegetable soups, roasted butternut squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, etc., they are still not as healthy for you as eating fresh vegetables.
When vegetables are cooked, some of the vitamins break down and we don’t get as much nutrition out of them as we could. I mean, there’s a reason there is a whole raw food movement out there. I would NEVER be able to eat raw foods only, but I do like to maximize my raw vegetable intake, and this is a bit trickier in the winter, mostly because I’m a baby and I don’t want to eat salad in the winter. First world problems, I know.
This warm bell pepper salad solves all of those issues. It is made from bell peppers, carrots, and red onions. These three ingredients are just slightly warmed up in a garlicky olive oil – not enough to cook them or to reduce their nutritious content, just enough to coat them in delicious flavor. The garlic oil and the red onion give this salad so much aromatic flavor.
I also loved this salad because there is no lettuce involved – anytime I can eat my vegetables by eating a crunchy flavorful salad instead of lettuce leaves drowned in salad dressing, I am a happy girl.
Oh, and the other thing that is awesome about this warm bell pepper salad? It takes about 10 minutes to put together. 10 minutes and you’ve got a healthy, flavorful, colorful side dish.
Warm Bell Pepper Salad
Makes 2-3 servings. Total time: 10 minutes
- 1 large bell pepper (yellow or red would look best to contrast the carrots)
- 2 medium carrots
- 1/2 small red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
1. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and slice it into very thin long strips.
2. Slice the carrot into long thin strips. Be very careful here, since carrots are really hard – you don’t want to press too hard on the knife and have it slip.
3. Slice the red onion into very thin half moon strips.
Combine the sliced bell pepper, carrot, and red onion.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, and add the minced garlic. Fry the garlic for 2 minutes until the oil starts to bubble around the garlic and the garlic is starting to get crispy and turn golden brown.
Add the bell pepper mix to the pan, and stir until the salad is coated in garlic oil and the vegetables are warmed up. This should take less than a minute. Remove from heat.
5. Place all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and chopped parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir well.
What are your favorite salads as we transition from summer to fall to winter?