Low calorie and nutritious, vegetables can be a good substitute for refined white carbs and an easy way up you five-a-day

These two recipes replace refined carbs with red peppers. Nutrition-wise, they have much to offer – more than double the amount of vitamin C than an orange, gram per gram, and they’re a good source of fibre. One red pepper also gives us almost 40% of our B vitamin folate for the day, for just 60 calories.


Pepper burgers with beetroot and goat’s cheese
Prep 5 min Cook 20 min Serves 4

4 orange peppers
Olive oil spray
400g lean beef mince
2tsp mustard powder
1 large garlic clove, crushed
100g (1 medium) raw beetroot, grated
2tbsp porridge oats
2tbsp breadcrumbs
1 avocado, flesh sliced
1 small punnet watercress, snipped
70g goat’s cheese, sliced
8 crinkle-cut gherkin slices
8 sun-dried tomatoes

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and halve the peppers lengthways, removing the seeds. Spray the peppers inside and out with spray oil and season with black pepper.
2. Put the peppers on a baking sheet, then cook for 15–20 min until softened slightly, but not collapsing. The peppers should be tinged and golden brown around the edges.
3. Meanwhile, mix the mince, mustard powder, garlic, beetroot, oats and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Season with black pepper, then use your hands to combine.
4. Shape the mixture into 4 equal burger patties. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat, then cook the burgers for 3–4 min on each side until cooked through.
5. Top 4 pepper halves with the avocado slices and snipped watercress. Place a burger patty on top of each pepper, then add the sliced goat’s cheese, gherkins and sun-dried tomatoes. Finish each burger with the remaining pepper halves and serve.

Per serving
18g fat
6g saturated
24g carbs
11g sugars
8g fibre
21g protein
1.6g salt
99mg calcium
3mg iron



Pepper nachos with spicy salsa, sour cream and guacamole
Prep 10 min Cook 10 min Serves 2

200g plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, diced
½ lime juice, plus wedges to serve
Small bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish
½ red chilli
3 orange peppers
2tsp olive oil
2tsp fajita seasoning (we used Schwartz)
80g reduced-fat cheese, grated
2tbsp reduced fat soured cream
2tbsp guacamole, to serve

1. Heat the grill to its hottest setting. Mix the tomatoes, onion, lime juice, coriander and chilli in a small bowl to make a salsa. Set aside.
2. Cut the peppers into nacho-size triangles, then toss in the oil and fajita seasoning to coat.
3. Lay the peppers out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Grill for 6–8 min until golden brown. Sprinkle with the grated cheese, then return to the grill and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
4. Serve the nachos topped with the salsa and sour cream and garnished with extra coriander, with the guacamole and lime wedges on the side.

Per serving
18g fat
7.6g saturates
18g carbs‘17g sugars
8g fibre
15g protein
0.8g salt
384mg calcium
2mg iron


For more facts about red peppers, visit www.itspeppertime.co.uk/