Roasted Peppers with Garlic and Herbs

peppers at the Food Bank

Roasted Peppers with Garlic and Herbs
Adapted from Martha Stewart Every Day Food


  • 4 bell peppers (any color), cut in half, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped


  1. Before beginning preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet place the 4 bell peppers, cut side up and lightly sprinkle them with olive oil.
  3. Place the garlic among peppers evenly.
  4. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper.
  5. Roast in oven until pepper’s flesh is tender and the skin is blistered in spots, (about 35 mins).
  6. Plave peppers on a platter and top with a small handful of the fresh basil.

A Recipe for Good Nutrition

Sampling a healthy recipe for pantry clients

At grocery pantries, we don’t just hand out food – we also hand out advice and information.

We give clients recipes and fact sheets to get them acquainted with our many fresh produce items, so they know how to use them in their meals. That’s especially important when clients aren’t culturally familiar with a particular vegetable or fruit.

Recently, we’ve gone even further, partnering with fellow non-profit, Leah’s Pantry, to test a broader nutrition education program at some of our 200+ grocery pantries.

The seminars are 1.5-hour sessions over the course of six weeks.  They  educate our clients about the food distributed throughout the pantry network, and help them create smart goals based on nutritious and healthy lifestyles.

At one pantry, we introduced many people to the nutritious and easy-to-prepare grain, quinoa. At others, we recently demonstrated and sampled a healthy, delicious recipe using mushrooms and bell peppers – fresh items which were available free to clients.

Here’s the recipe, in case you’d like to cook up something healthy yourself!

San Francisco Food Bank’s Mushrooms & Red Pepper Crostini

Serves 4


½ pound mushrooms

1 whole red pepper

3 cloves garlic

2-3 Tbsp. oil (olive oil, if available)


Wipe dirt off mushrooms with a wet towel. Trim stems of mushrooms and slice thinly.

Rinse red pepper and remove stem. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove seeds and de-vein. Slice into thin strips.

Peel garlic and chop finely.

Pour 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan. Heat on medium. When oil is hot, add mushrooms, peppers and garlic slices. Saute until vegetables are soft, being careful not to burn the garlic or over-cook the vegetables. Serve warm on toast or as a side dish.


Fresh mushrooms should be stored with cool air circulating around them. They should be placed on a tray in a single layer, covered with a damp paper towel and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Before use, they should be wiped with a damp paper towel or, if necessary, rinsed with cold water and dried thoroughly. Mushroom often taste like meat when cooked and seasoned well, so they are a great meat-substitute for vegetarians.

Did you know?

Half of the food the San Francisco Food bank distributes is fresh produce!
Tell us what you think!

Please use the comment field below to share your thoughts – and your own recipes.

Eat your vegetables!

Seems like getting children to eat healthy foods has always been a battle.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Lisa Barnes. She’s the mom behind the Petit Appetit Cookbook featuring easy recipes for busy parents and kids.

Thanks to Lisa for sharing some great healthy recipes!

Presto Pizza Dough and Pizza Pinwheels

Fruit Kebobs with Lemony Snicket Sauce

Pumpkin-Ginger Muffins

Presto Pizza Dough

Makes 1 (12- to 14-inch) pizza; 12 servings

1 tablespoon active dry yeast (1 ounce package)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until foamy. Add remaining ingredients to yeast and water. Mix together and knead by hand until dough is smooth, about 3 minutes. Make dough into a ball and return to bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
To make a pizza: Place dough on a greased baking or pizza pan and press with your fingers to spread into desired shape. Add desired sauce and toppings and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until crust is brown on the edges.

Pizza Pinwheels

Makes 8 pinwheels

Presto Pizza Dough (above) or 1 pound whole wheat pizza dough
½ to ¾ cup homemade or favorite jarred spaghetti sauce
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (rBGH free)
½ cup fresh organic baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons chopped black olives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch-round metal baking pan.
Roll dough out into a rectangle shape, about 10 x 12 inches. Spread sauce on top. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Top with spinach leaves (kids can help arrange) and sprinkle with olives.

Starting with shorter end, roll dough into a tube, with all sauce and toppings inside. Carefully transfer roll to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, make hard quick crosswise cuts to slice through dough, preventing dough from mashing and sauce spilling out. Cut log in half, then each half in half, then each quarter in half again, so you have 8 equal pieces.
Reshape dough wheels and arrange in baking pan, leaving about ½ to 1 inch between each wheel, so they can expand and rise and push into each other when they bake. Sprinkle wheels with remaining cheese. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and dough is cooked. Carefully remove each wheel from the pan with a spatula or pie server.

Fruit Kebobs

Makes 25, 4 inch popsicle sticks (4 chunks each)
2 sticks (8 fruit pieces) per serving

1 organic cantaloupe
1 organic honeydew
½ organic watermelon
½ organic pineapple

Using a melon baller create as many balls in cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon as possible. Cut pineapple into 1 inch chunks.

Carefully thread each fruit ball on a popsicle stick, making sure each one has all four kinds.
TIP! This is a great recipe to involve the kids. Some can make balls with the melon baller, some can count and line up the popsicle sticks and some can thread them.

Lemony Snicket Sauce

Makes about 6 ounces

1, 6 ounce plain organic whole milk yogurt
½ teaspoon fresh organic lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave syrup
In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until blended

Pumpkin-Ginger Muffins

1 cup unbleached flour
¾ cup organic whole wheat flour
1/3 cup organic sugar (evaporated sugar cane)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cage free, organic egg, beaten
¾ cup milk
½ cup canned pumpkin*
¼ cup expeller pressed canola oil
½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Topping (optional)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon organic sugar (evaporated sugar cane)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center. In a medium bowl combine egg, milk, pumpkin, and oil until smooth. Add wet ingredients to well in dry ingredients. Stir just until combined and moistened. Lightly grease muffin tin and fill ½ to 2/3 full. In a small bowl combine cinnamon and sugar for topping. Sprinkle each muffin with topping and bake 15 – 18 minutes, or until golden. Remove muffins from pan and serve warm.

Makes 10 muffins.

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