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Farm Fresh Meals + A Spicy Sweet Pepper Recipe

This post is sponsored by Walmart, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Finding locally grown produce is a wonderful thing, for so many reasons, not the least of which being that locally grown fruits and vegetables are healthier, tastier, and less processed. Foods that travel less distance to reach us and our plates require less packaging and preservatives, which is better for the Earth and our bodies. Supporting local farming also benefits our local economy, helping farmers who work hard to bring us organic produce to be able to keep it up. If we don’t support local farming, the availability of fresh, organic produce will diminish, so it’s up to us to always choose local!

Walmart supports local farms and farmers who are committed to raising high-quality fruits and vegetables. We all want better foods available in markets at affordable prices, and Walmart is working with farms and farmers in 42 states to grow, harvest, and deliver local products to Walmart stores, making them available to every customer. Produce includes everything from pink lady apples and blueberries, to broccoli, zucchini, and peppers. Food goes directly from farm to store, without anything in the middle to prevent Walmart from offering affordable prices for all of us who want to eat healthier and create better meals for our families.

Walmart invited nine celebrated chefs from across the country to create delicious dishes in their restaurants with Walmart’s organic and locally grown produce as part of their Rediscovering America program, and I was invited to learn more about the program and Walmart’s commitment to providing customers with fresh, quality ingredients at their kickoff event in New York City. Whether you are seeking juicy berries or healthy, wholesome vegetables, Walmart wants to help you affordably incorporate all those fresh ingredients into your meals, so a healthy diet is attainable for all people and families.

Some of the delicious canapés I enjoyed, created by James Beard Chef JJ Johnson at the James Beard House event, included Okra Fries with Piri Piri Sauce, Cauliflower Curry with Coconut Sticky Rice, Spiced Broccoli with Avocado Pistou, and Brussel Sprouts Yassa. Everything was so delicious and made with savory produce that offered that “just picked” taste we all crave and prefer. I created and am sharing my own version of the veggies + spicy avocado spread below (scroll down a bit to find it).

A Celebration of Farmers + Locally Grown, Fresh, Quality Foods

Rediscovering America is a celebration of the farms and farmers who work hard to bring us an abundance of locally grown, healthy produce, as well as accessibility to all of their fresh, quality foods. Walmart recruited nine chefs around the country to share how they would incorporate organic Walmart produce into tasty dishes they can serve at their restaurants, to inspire us to recreate our own family recipes at home with the same quality ingredients, made available and affordable by Walmart.

After the event, Walmart invited guests to “shop” their pantry and take home some of the organic produce they offer to use in our own recipes. The variety included broccoli, garlic, sweet potatoes, red and green bell peppers, a colorful assortment of sweet mini peppers, and Pink Lady apples, as well as Walmart wines! I filled up a cotton grocery bag and took everything home to cook with for days- my kitchen smelled spectacular! (Is anything better than the smell of garlic roasting??) I typically love to serve vegetables as is, sliced or chopped and just drizzled with olive oil and salt and maybe a bit of chili powder to spice it up, and I love to snack on pink lady apples sliced up and sprinkled with cinnamon. These are amazingly healthy snacks! Cooking and baking with such flavorful fruits and veggies transform traditional wholesome meals into something extra special.

Sweet Peppers with Spicy Avocado Spread

2-3 cups of mini sweet peppers, sliced
olive oil
2 avocados
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Season sliced peppers with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil, then bake at 350º F for ten minutes on a grill rack.
2. While peppers are grilling, scoop out avocado into a bowl and add in garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix together well.
3. Spread a layer of spicy avocado mix onto a plate or platter, and place sliced, grilled peppers all around for everyone to enjoy.

Note: The grilled mini sweet peppers are softer than broccoli, so this isn’t really a finger food appetizer; these are best served with cocktail picks. This recipe ended up being so tasty that my usually vegetable-averse, new-thing-averse sons loved it and asked for more! Sweet peppers with spicy avocado are perfection.

Quality and convenience can go hand in hand, and all the ingredients in this recipe can be found at Walmart. I’m a busy mom, and I know most of my readers are too, so friends, I kept the recipe simple enough so you can easily make it on even busy days. It’s a tasty snack for you, or a unique appetizer for a get-together that your guests likely never had before (I never did before I was inspired by Chef JJ to spice things up!). Learn more about Walmart’s commitment to bringing healthy, organic produce into more homes here. And by the way, if you do plan to entertain, or have a romantic evening in, did you know Walmart offers its own line of international wines?