Tomato and Avocado Dip with Pepper Chips

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I have a new obsession with bell peppers.  Sweet peppers are full of fiber and vitamin C; green peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C than oranges, and orange and red varieties have even more.



I've been using them as chips for dip.  They satisfy my need for something crunchy without the carbs and calories from corn or potato chips.  They are also the perfect chips for my new favorite dip made from tomatoes and avocados with feta cheese.  This dip was introduced to me by a friend last summer.  I've been eating it non-stop since then, even through the winter months.

The key to making this dip outstanding is using ripe vegetables {or fruits for the scientists out there}.  I like to go to our local Asian market to get produce.  It's always fresh and flavorful.  But knowing what to look for is helpful.



Tomatoes~ Choose ones that are big and firm but not hard.  Avoid squishy ones.  Just hold a tomato in your hand and gently squeeze with your palm, not finger tips.  You should notice just a slight give.  I don't buy the ones that are still on the vine, even though they are a beautiful red.  They just don't have the flavor that the beefsteak tomatoes do.  Also, the plum tomatoes don't provide enough meat. 

Avocados~ My preference is Haas or California avocados.  They actually have fewer calories than Florida avocados.  You want ones that are not bright green, and if you are planning to use them the same day, you should choose ones that look almost black.  Again, pick it up in your hand and gently squeeze with the palm.  You want avocados that are not firm but do not get indentations.  If indentations are made, the fruit is over ripe.

Bell Peppers~ I've seen a tip on Pinterest regarding choosing bell peppers based on the bumps on the bottom of the pepper.  There is actually no difference between 3 and 4 lobed {bumps on bottom} green peppers.  They are from the same plant and are the same ripeness.  There are differences in variety of bell peppers that effect sweetness.  If you want a sweeter pepper, choose a different variety or color.  Orange are the sweetest in my taste buds' opinion.

How to Cut Bell Peppers~ Place top down on cutting surface. Using a sharp knife, slice down, along the valleys between the lobes of the pepper.



  By doing this, you will save time and have pepper pieces that are completely pith and seed free!



Avocado Dip with Green Pepper Chips

1 ripe avocado
1 lg beef steak tomato
1/2 c crumbled feta
1/4 c chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp white vinegar
juice of one lime
1 green onion, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
4 bell peppers, cut into chips

Cut avocado into small chunks and dice tomato.  Combine avocado, tomato, feta, red onion, garlic, vinegar and lime juice.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and place in refrigerator until serving.  Just before serving, top with green onion slices.  Serve with bell pepper slices.



Tips and Tricks ~

*  To remove the flesh of a ripe avocado from its skin, use a spoon to scoop it out.  It should slide right out.
*After working with garlic and onions, rub your hands against a stainless steel sink or bowl.  I don't know why, but it removes the smell from your skin.
* Keep pits of avocados to place in dip to keep from browning {this works great for guacamole}.
* Use scissors to cut the green stems on f the green onion directly over the surface of the food you are garnishing.  I find it saves time, especially when I go to pick up the sliced onions from the cutting board.
*  Avocados ripen after they are picked from the tree.  This makes them a great choice of fruit to buy and ripen at home.  Here is a terrific link to choosing and using avocados.
*  Keep sliced bell peppers fresh in a mason jar in the fridge; they will keep just as fresh and crispy as when cut for up to a week.

I like to make the dip and keep it in the fridge {in a jar} as a snack or lunch that I can grab and go.  The entire recipe as given above has about 780 calories; divide it by 4 or 6 servings {either lunch or snack} and each serving has 200 calories {or less} along with a bell pepper cut into chips.




4 comments:

  1. Duh. Why have I never thought of using peppers as chips! Love it - totally stealing that idea! :D

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it was a light bulb moment for me!

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  2. Peppers as chips... wow. I agree that this is a brilliant idea! Not to mention healthy too. Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most certainly welcome! I use them as chips for all kinds of things now.

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