Wednesday, January 13, 2016

4th Post. Two Week Menu Wednesday

Hello Everyone!
Tonight we are going to use the half a pound of beef that we had left over from Spaghetti night.  If you are making the meals, you have probably realized that you still have cooked chicken from your whole chicken and a mutant size chicken breast left from your mustard dill chicken packets.  The prepared chicken should be good until we get to pizza night, but if you are nervous about the chicken going bad before that, you can put the chicken you have left over in the freezer, just make sure to wrap it well first.
This particular recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers is modified from a classic recipe from "The Betty Crocker Cookbook".  I love Betty Crocker cookbooks. My great grandmother and grandmother had their own copies stuffed with handwritten recipes between the pages and  notes written in the margins for modifications that they preferred with favorite recipes.   My grandfather made sure that I had my own hardback, three ring version of the book before I moved out to live on my own and it is still one of my treasured possessions.  It helps me remember that not all food has to be complicated to be good.  (Which is why it is such a good source of inspiration for 2 week menu meals.)  Thanks to the digital age, you don't have to own a Betty Crocker cookbook anymore because you can find many of the classic Betty Crocker Recipes on their website and the site is free for anyone to use.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

2 large bell peppers (any color, but I think yellow or red are the prettiest)
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 tbsp. onion, finely chopped/minced
1/2 cup cooked rice  (or creole seasoning)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced  (if you don't love garlic, make sure it is a small clove)
1/2 can tomato sauce (you should have some left over from Spaghetti night)
1/2 can tomato paste (again- you should have some left over from Spaghetti night)
1/4 cup shredded cheese -- use what you have on hand.  Mozzarella and parmesan are good, I find cheddar to be a little strong, but everyone had different tastes.

1.  Cut off the tops of each bell pepper, cutting as little as possible but leaving yourself enough room to remove the seeds and membrane from inside the peppers. 
2.  In a Dutch oven, add enough water to cover the peppers.  Heat the water to boiling; add peppers.  Cook about two minutes; drain.
3.  In a10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion  over medium heat 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown.  If necessary, drain meat to remove excess fat.
4. Stir in rice, salt, garlic, and half of the tomato sauce and all of the tomato paste; cook until hot.
5.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Stuff the bell peppers with beef mixture.  Stand peppers upright in an ungreased glass baking dish.  Pour remaining tomato sauce over the peppers.
7. Cover tightly with foil.  Bake 10 minutes.  Uncover and bake about 15 minutes longer or until peppers are tender.  Sprinkle with cheese.  (If you want your cheese melted, put the cheese on the peppers about one minute before the peppers are done and put back in the oven for a minute.)

I don't usually serve anything else with this dish as it already contains a starch and a vegetable.

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