These crunchy nightshade vegetables range from green, purple, and black (slightly bitter) to yellow, orange, and red (quite sweet). Mild because they contain little capsaicin, the fiery compound in their hot-pepper cousins, all are loaded with vitamins, including abundant carotenoids and more vitamin C than oranges. Look for heavy, firm, glossy, and vividly colored peppers with no wrinkles. Refrigerate in plastic up to a week. Buy organic when possible; conventional peppers harbor high pesticide residues.

  • Stuffed.
    Cut around stem to create a hole large enough to remove seeds. (The sweet white membranes contain nutritious flavonoids, but remove if you prefer.) Fill with cooked rice or quinoa mixed with finely chopped kale, herbs, and nuts or cheese. Place in a baking dish coated with cooking spray and bake at 425 degrees until tender, 15–20 minutes.
     
  • After-school snack.
    Refrigerate sliced bell pepper rings in clear containers with carrot and cucumber sticks; pull them out for a healthy snack, served with guacamole, hummus, or a yogurt dip.
     
  • Easy add-in.
    Finely dice bell peppers and stir into risotto or any pasta sauce toward the end of cooking. Add fresh or roasted bell pepper slices to burritos and tacos for a pop of color and nutrients.