Red and Green Bell Pepper Bites

Ingredients

1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 ounces fat-free or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon no-salt lemon pepper seasoning blend
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Cooking Instructions

Cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard the stems, ribs and seeds. Cut each half into six pieces. Arrange the pieces with the skin side down on a decorative serving platter. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, dry-roast the almonds over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the almonds to a small plate and reserve for garnishing. Process the remaining almonds in a food processor or blender for 15 to 20 seconds, or until finely ground.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, lemon pepper seasoning blend, and lemon juice with an electric mixer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until creamy. Add the ground almonds and beat for 10 seconds, or until combined.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a wide star or round tip. Or snip the corner off a resealable plastic bag (a plastic freezer bag works well) and spoon in the mixture. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of the mixture onto each bell pepper piece. Garnish with the sliced almonds.

Cook’s Tip

Flavorful toasted almonds and zesty lemon-pepper contrast nicely with crisp bell pepper pieces in this festive appetizer.