September Meal Plan: Week 3- Red Peppers 3 Ways

When you stumble upon beautiful peppers that look like THIS at your farmers market, you plan every meal for the next week around them-- you just do! This stunning photo was taken at Small Axe Market Gardens at the Old Capitol Farmers Market in Springfield. Those beets are looking fab too, but as a root vegetable, they'll be hanging around for a while. Peppers though, you've got to get them while their hot.

Photo from Small Axe Market Gardens

This week's meal plan is all about peppers and sweet potatoes. These two September veggies are a perfect pair. Try out one of the individual recipes below:

Or follow the meal plan and make all three! The meal plan features a farmers market shopping list and recipe adaptations that make it easy to prep ingredients on Sunday and assemble quick and healthy dinners throughout the week. These meal plans are designed to feed a family of 4, and many of the recipes will make enough for tasty lunch leftovers. Simple, Fresh, Wholesome. We've got you covered.

Saturday Farmers Market Shopping List

  • 1 Large Chicken (4-5lbs)

  • 2 Heads of Garlic

  • 10 medium peppers (we love the beautiful Hungarian Red Sweet Peppers, featured above, but there are lots of great local options. Ask your farmer what their favorite pepper is and test it out!)

  • 5 sweet potatoes

  • 2 onions

  • 1 jalapeno

  • 3 roma tomatoes

  • Cilantro

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 orange

  • 1 lime

  • 8 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 slice leftover crusty bread

  • ½ cups almonds

  • 1 ½ cups quinoa

  • Sherry vinegar

  • Lime


  • Chili powder

  • Cumin

  • Oregano

  • Smoked Paprika

  • Cayenne

Sunday Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees

  • Clean peppers and potatoes. Core the peppers and cut in half. Dice the potatoes into small cubes. On a large sheet pan, drizzle both with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and a dash of pepper and roast for 20 minutes.

  • After 20 minutes, remove 4 pepper halves and set aside to use in the stuffed pepper recipe.

  • Continue roasting the remaining peppers and tomatoes for another 10-20 minutes or until potatoes and peppers are just beginning to char on the outside

  • Let potatoes and peppers cool and store in separate Tupperware containers in the fridge until needed.

Spanish-Style Roast Chickened with Red Pepper Romesco and Quinoa

Adapted from Serious Eats

Photo from Serious Eats


  • 1 large chicken (4 to 5 pounds)

  • 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika (see note above)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup juice from 1 orange

For the Romesco:

  • 1 1-inch thick slice of crusty bread, crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 large tomato

  • 5 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 cup almonds

  • 2 medium red bell peppers, roasted

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Quinoa

  • 1 ½ cups quinoa

  • 3 cups chicken or vegetables/stock


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place on a v-rack in a roasting pan, tucking wing tips behind shoulder of the bird.

  2. Mix smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Drizzle olive oil and orange juice over chicken, sprinkle with spice mixture and massage evenly over the bird until it’s an even, burnished red hue. Place garlic cloves in the bottom of the roasting pan.

  3. Place chicken in oven to cook. Using tongs, remove garlic cloves and transfer to a small plate when tender, about 30 minutes. Continue to cook chicken basting with pan juices every 30 minutes after the first half-hour of cooking, until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F and the breast registers at least 145°F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  4. Meanwhile cook the quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil again. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15- 20 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork. Serve half for dinner and reserve half for the Stuffed Pepper Recipe.

  5. While quinoa cooks, prepare the Romesco. Combine roasted garlic, almonds, bread, peppers, tomatoe, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika, cayenne, and salt. Prepare romesco by adding all ingredients, except olive oil, to a blender. Pulse a few times to break up large chunks, then puree, adding olive oil in a slow, steady stream, about 30 seconds total. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  6. Remove chicken from oven, tent it lightly with foil and allow it to rest.

  7. Carve chicken or transfer to platter to carve tableside. Serve on top of a bed of quinoa, drizzle with pan drippings and Romesco sauce.

  8. Reserve leftover chicken for Stuffed Red Pepper Recipe

Mexican Style Stuffed Red Peppers

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Photo from Ambitious Kitchen


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

  • 2 cups roasted chicken, shredded

  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced and roasted (about ¾ cup)

  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste if desired

  • 4 red peppers, cut in half and roasted. (8 pepper halves)

  • 3/4 cup shredded colby jack cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. In a saute pan over medium-high heat olive oil. Add onions, jalapeno. and garlic and saute until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent about 4-5 minutes. Place into large bowl and add in cooked quinoa, diced sweet potato, chicken , tomatoes, 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cilantro, and salt and pepper.

  3. Arrange bell peppers in large skillet or baking pan and stuff with a heaping 1/2 cup of quinoa mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes until everything is heated through. Uncover and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Place in oven for 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Remove and serve immediately with toppings such as sour cream, your favorite hot sauce or guacamole.

Simple Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup

Adapted from The Full Helping

Photo from The Full Helping


  • 4 red bell peppers, roasted (8 pepper halves)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 ½ medium onions (yellow or white) roughly chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 sweet potatoes, diced and roasted

  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or 4 cups broth + 1 cup water)

  • ¾ teaspoon fine salt

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Cayenne pepper, to taste

  • Leftover Romesco (optional)


  1. Heat the oil or water in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

  2. Add the roasted potato, roasted peppers, broth, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.

  3. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup till it's smooth and creamy, or transfer it to a blender in batches and blend till smooth (if using blender, remove soup from heat and allow to cool before blending). Transfer the soup back to the pot and heat gently. If the soup is thicker than you'd like, add some extra broth, water, milk or cream, to achieve a desired consistency.

  4. Add the lime juice, cayenne, and leftover romesco (if desired) and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve with croutons, toasted cheese, or a light salad.

  5. Leftover soup will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

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