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Tomatoes, Onions and Green Peppers

Updated on September 18, 2021


"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" – Hippocrates

The Basics

Growing up in a Hungarian home, tomatoes, peppers and onions were the basis for many recipes. My grandparents were peasants who ate from the land, which means they grew their own vegetables, and raised chickens, pigs, and some even had a cow, which they used for dairy products. Today, they're known as farmers.

My mother is a chef in her own right, with no formal education, she has cooked for the elite in both Hungary and France. Her dishes could very well be featured in cookbooks and magazines, but in keeping with her tradition, home cooked meals were simple and inexpensive. There was no measuring, to this day it’s a pinch of this and a dab of that.

Shopping at fresh markets was a treat as a child, Saturday mornings were trips I looked forward to. We woke at 5am and headed for the market to get the freshest vegetables displayed by local farmers. The smells were exhilarating, to this day I smell my vegetables before buying them. It sounds weird but you can tell a lot about the freshness of a vegetable by the way it smells. I used to tell my sons “if it smells bad, don’t eat it”, which has been a continuing joke in our family.

Fresh Markets

Tomatoes, onions and peppers

The most important 3 vegetable were tomatoes, onions and bell peppers, with these three dishes recipes seemed to come alive, and I’m sure that my mother never considered their nutritional value.

Onions were known to be prescribed by doctors to facilitate bowel movements and erection, and also to relieve headaches, coughs, and hair loss. Some studies have shown that increased consumption of onions reduces the risk of head and neck cancers.

Bell peppers are high in Vitamin C Possibly due to their vitamin C and beta carotene content, bell peppers have been shown to be protective against cataracts.

Tomato consumption has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer, head and neck cancers. New research is beginning to indicate that tomatoes may be used to help prevent lung cancer.

The other important ingredient in our household was Paprika. Hungary is a major source of high-quality paprika, in grades ranging from very sweet with a deep bright red to rather hot with a brownish orange color. High heat leaches the vitamins from peppers.


From the market to the pot.

Paprikas, pronounced Pup-re-kash, is the name we give to several dishes. There is chicken, beef, even sausage paprikas, but it all boils down to this; you start with onions, tomatoes, green peppers and Paprika. I would like to share this recipe with you for a better understanding of how it all comes together.

Chicken Paprikas

Onions (chopped)

Tomatoes (chopped)

Bell Pepper (chopped)


Chicken (pieces)

Bullion (we use Knorr)

Sour cream (optional)


Salt & Pepper


There is no measuring, because you can adjust this recipe to your taste.

Heat oil in a pan, add a chopped onion, brown.

Add about a tablespoon of Paprika

Throw in the chicken, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

Add a little water, or bullion, cover, and cook till chicken is tender.

If needed add a little more water or boullion later.

Salt & pepper to taste, maybe a little Lawry’s salt.

Add sour cream if desired. Serve with rice, potatoes or noodles.

For other Paprikas recipes substitute the chicken with other meats.

Enjoy, and let me know how you like it.


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