Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stuffed Green Peppers

I'm trying my hand at gardening this year. I've never had a stuffed pepper, so I thought I'd try my hand at that too. I was pleased with how it turned out! Pardon the presentation--these were plated up quickly! I'm sure you could reserve the pepper tops and make these into a pretty dish.

6 large green bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds out.
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 cup plain cooked brown rice. (I used leftovers in the fridge from stir-fry)
1/2 onion, diced
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
3 TBsp Parmesan cheese
2 TBsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
---please note if you have an Italian seasoning blend, just add 2-3 tsp of it instead of the above 4 ingredients. I had run out so I improvised.-----
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion salt

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 roma tomatoes, sliced "pretty"

Brown beef over medium heat in a large skillet or wok. While it browns, boil a large pan of salted water. Once it boils, add all the cleaned out peppers at once and submurge them. Let boil on a hard boil for about 6 minutes, then remove from water and set aside into a deep baking dish.

Once beef is browned, add in onions and let them cook for 2 minutes while stirring frequently. Add the rice, tomatoes, sauce, paste and seasonings along with a cup of water. Let it simmer, adding more water as necessary to reach your desired sauce thickness. Taste! My seasonings are approximations--you may decide it needs more something.

Stuff the peppers to the top with the meat/rice sauce. I had leftover sauce that I served on the side if anyone wanted more stuffing with their pepper. Cover deep dish and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. Remove foil/cover and bake for another 10 minutes.  *PLEASE NOTE* My cooktimes were for stuffed peppers that had been refrigerated for a few hours before baking.  Your cook time may need to be adjusted if your sauce and peppers are already hot.*

Add cheddar cheese to the top of each pepper and bake until melted smooth. Ready to serve with a few slices of fresh cold tomatoes!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Seasoned Tomatoes

I'm short on fresh vegetables on the house so I tried to figure out what to do with a tomato so I could serve a vegetable for dinner.  This was delicious...and a nice change from all the greens we usually eat!

This is a great change for a vegetable to serve with a meal...or as a pretty appetizer to serve.

This recipe is per large slicing tomato...but you can adjust to more/less per your liking.

1 large slicing tomato, sliced into round pieces...make them pretty, and thin!
1/8 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
pinch of black pepper

1/4 cup of mozzerella or parmesan cheese...pick your fave :)

Mix together spices and olive oil and spread over tomato slices. Top with your favorite cheese.  Refrigerate for a half hour to two hours before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Chocolate Elvis" Smoothie

 In high school, a close friend of mine worked at a place called "Planet Smoothie."  Planet Smoothie happened to be across the street from where I worked.  On several occasions, she'd let me come back and make my own smoothie.  One "dessert" smoothie I always liked was called the "Chocolate Elvis."  In the store these smoothies could cost $3-5 dollars a piece, but they're really actually very inexpensive to make (since most of it is ice!)

The following is my rendition of Planet Smoothie's Chocolate Elvis. This makes approximately 4 cups of goodness!

1 tray of icecubes (about 12 cubes).  If you have an ice-maker in your fridge, crushed ice would be optimal for this.
1 scoop nonfat frozen vanilla yogurt.  On this occasion I made it, the store had no nonfat yogurt so I grabbed No sugar added slow churned ice cream.  It doesn't really affect the taste...just the calories!
2/3 cup of milk. (if you like yours thicker or thinner you can adjust this amount)
3 TBSP Hershey's Chocolate Syrup (again, more for more chocolatey taste)
2-3 TBSP Peanut Butter (more or less depending on taste, again)
1 banana

Throw it all in a blender with ice cubes on the bottom (so they'll crush up first) and blend until smooth, stirring as needed to make it blend!  So glad my friend broke the rules so I can make these at home 8 years later!