Sunday, May 31, 2015

Marinated Grilled Mini Sweet Peppers #oxogreensaver

Yum

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, and then he put them in the fridge and somehow they got pushed to the back behind the eggs and milk and then he forgot about them until one day he found them... all soft and shriveled.  Ever happened to you?  I hate to admit it, but I find more produce in my fridge that I had planned to use and then forgot about than I care to say.  Such a waste.

As a mostly plant based family, my fridge is filled to the brim with fresh veggies and fruits, and as I mentioned earlier, occasionally my eyes get the better of me at a local farmer's markets and I arrive home with not one, but 4 gorgeous bunches of various colored lettuces.

With all good intentions I toss together a salad, and then another the next day.  The third day may find me blending some of the tender leaves into juice, but the fourth day has met tired of lettuce.  So I let it sit a day or two, and by the time I'm back to it the beautiful leaves have begun to wilt, or perhaps have even become slimy and spoiled.

Enter the Greensaver.  I love a good science experiment, and when OXO sent a Greensaver with Activated Carbon System in combination with some of my favorite multicolored Mini Sweet Peppers from Melissa's Produce I placed most of the peppers directly into the Greensaver leaving a handful in the bag they arrived in.  And I tried to forget about them.

But for once I couldn't forget about my gorgeous perfect produce and checked them almost daily.  Peppers, though, have a longer shelf life than many greens, and I didn't really see much of a difference in the first week in the fridge.

But then I did forget about them.  Really... they got pushed to the back, and it wasn't until I realized my Oxo deadline was fast approaching that we dug back into the fridge half expecting to find a science experiment gone too far.

Pulling the peppers from the bag I found somewhat soft and shriveled fruits.  Still edible, but no where near their prime.  However, popping the top of the Greensaver we contrarily pulled out gorgeous, photo-worthy (photos show each and every blemish) crisp fruits!


Can you guess which pepper had a stay in the Oxo Greensaver??

That's when I turned tail and headed to the store for more Greensavers.  Yes, I'm now the proud owner of 4 Greensavers and tomorrow morning they will all be filled as I arrive home with that extra produce I just won't be able to pass up at the local market.

Storing my veggies and fruits in the bags I brought them home in has been something I've always done.  Occasionally I place a paper towel in the bag, but more often than not I don't.  But after some research, I've come to find that storing produce this way may actually cause it to go bad faster, ergo that slimy lettuce when I reach for it to make my salad after just a few days in the fridge.


The three main reasons produce rots and spoils are:
  • Ethlyene Gas - Fruits and vegetables give off Ethlyne Gas.  Exposing produce to the gas speeds up the ripening process (ever put an apple with bananas to ripen them faster?) and can cause over ripening which can then lead to spoilage.
  • Improper Airflow - When produce rests up against the walls of a bag or container, moisture can build up and cause rotting.
  • Uncontrolled Humidity - Fruits and vegetables require a perfect balance of humidity to remain in peak condition and prevent softness or wilting.  To make things harder, different varieties of produce have different humidity requirements.
Thankfully, the OXO Greensaver can help solve these issues!

First the Ethylene Gas.  The Greensaver uses a plant based (coconut husk - making them safe and non-toxic) carbon filter to absorb the gas which in turn slows down the ripening process and slows spoilage giving you more time with that gorgeous lettuce.

Airflow.  The Greensaver uses an elevated basket lifting the produce up and away from the bottom and sides of the container and allowing air to "flow" around the produce.  And as a bonus, the basket simply lifts out of the box and can be used as a colander.

Humidity.  A vent on top of each Produce Keeper slides open and closed to maintain optimum humidity levels for different kinds of produce keeping them crisp and fresh.

According to my experiment (we actually followed the scientific method!), this OXO Greensaver works.  And not only does it work to keep the produce crisp and fresh longer, it organizes your fridge!  I love the clear boxes allowing me to throw away those opaque grocery store bags where you can't really see what's in them and instead to see directly into each bin and know exactly you have on hand.

My thanks to OXO and Melissa's Produce for sending us a Greensaver and those crisp, sweet mini peppers.  I'm sold on the Greensaver.  And my produce?  We're enjoying more time together!




Marinated Grilled Mini Sweet Peppers
With perfectly crisp Mini Sweet Peppers from Melissa's Produce, we grilled the whole bag of fruits whole giving us lovely roasted peppers  to have on hand for picnic appetizers, tossed into salads, or simply eating out of hand.  Dipped into a Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette, these little guys are simply irresistible!

These mini peppers contain just a few seeds near the stem, so grilling whole leaves the stem attached and provides a sort of "handle" to pick up to eat.  If you decide you want them in a salad, simply cut off the stem and slice.

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1 package multicolored mini sweet peppers (we love the ones from Melissa's Produce)
2 Tbs good quality olive oil
1 Tbs good quality balsamic vineagar
1 tsp dijon (I use Maile)
1 clove garlic, diced
salt and pepper as desired


Preheat grill to high heat.

Wash peppers and place on a towel to dry, then place peppers into a zip top bag.

In a small bowl add the oil, vineagar, dijon and garlic.  Whisk to combine.

Pour the vinaigrette over the peppers in the bag and seal.  Move the peppers around the bag by gently squeezing to coat evenly with the dressing.

Allow peppers to sit for a few minutes while the grill gets hot.

Remove the peppers from the bag and place onto the hot grill.  Reduce the heat to medium and cover.  Grill for about 3 minutes, then turn the peppers, checking to see they have some nice sear marks before turning.  If they don't have grill marks yet, give them a few more minutes.

Once flipped, grill until the peppers are soft (but before they turn mushy!) and have grill marks on both sides.  Remove from the grill and place on a plate.

Peppers are ready to eat immediately, or alternatively may be allowed to cool to room temp, or even chilled for a later use.

I love to have the peppers on hand for snacking, but they may also be chopped and tossed into salads, eggs or used on sandwiches.

To use as an appetizer, make more of the balsamic vinaigrette from above (adjust balsamic measurement to your taste).  Arrange peppers on a plate and drizzle dressing over the peppers before serving.  I like these best at room temp. 

Maltese photobomb!  He loves Melissa's Mini Sweets too!
LivLife Note:  We received 1 OXO Greensaver Activated Carbon System from OXO and a package of Mini Sweet Peppers from Melissa's Produce to try and review.  The opinions are all my own, and we wholeheartedly stand behind these products!

11 comments:

  1. Where can one purchase these baskets? Are they available in Canada? I find vegetable crispers (the ones that come with the fridge) don't live up to their promise at all. These baskets sound like they fit the bill.

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    1. Judith... you can get them directly on the OXO site (click any of the highlighted "OXO Greensaver" Links above or go to OXO.com. But I've also seen them at Bed, Bath and Beyond and my favorite, Sur la Table!

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    2. Thanks for your reply. Will also check out Amazon also.

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  2. This is such a great tip, I am going to have to get me some of those

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    1. Mercedes... you going to love them!

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  3. Perfect for a summer barbecue. Love fresh veggies especially with a drizzle of balsamic.

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  4. Wow, what a difference! We struggle with fruit/veg going bad too, sooner than we can eat it. It's frustrating. I will try to find some of these greensavers here!
    PS - those roasted peppers look delicious!

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    1. Olivia, we had fun with the experiment... but after seeing the results I'm sold.

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  5. You and I are soul sisters. I have made grilled peppers twice in the last three days. Although, I haven't tried marinating them. Must try that!

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    1. You know it!! I'm addicted to these grilled peppers. I love having them on hand and find myself just grabbing a few when I'm grazing. A healthy choice! :)

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