Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stuffed Red Peppers

Tonight for dinner I used the last of my ground pork, as I mentioned before I bought 3 lbs and cooked it all up at once to save time! This recipe was really easy and yummy too! I'll admit, my kids didn't eat the peppers, just the stuffing, but I chopped up their roasted peppers to use in some scrambled eggs for breakfast.
1 lb lean ground meat (beef, pork, turkey)
1 garlic, minced
1/4 onion, minced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin powder
salt to taste
3 large sweet red bell peppers, washed, cut in half and seeded
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 can fat free chicken broth (divided)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups COOKED rice (to cook the rice I used 1 cup of chicken broth from the can and added water to make the right ammount, then used the other cup in the recipe. I don't like opening a can and only using half!)
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400*. Cook ground meat with garlic, onion, and seasonings until well browned. Meanwhile, prepare red peppers and place in a baking dish.(I used a 9X13) Once meat is cooked add in cilantro, 1/2 cup of chicken broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and heat about 5 minutes. Stir in rice. Scoop mixture into peppers filling completely. Top with cheese, pour remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth in bottom of baker, cover tightly with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spicy (or not) Black Bean Empanada Casserole

This recipe was supposed to make a bunch of tiny empanada pockets, but I changed it to make it quicker and easier. I thought it was delicious!

1 Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheet
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 pound ground pork or turkey
1 small red pepper, diced
4 medium green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup sour cream
1 cup guacamole
1.Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until they're easy to handle. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Stir the egg and water with a fork in a small bowl.
2.Cook the pork in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the pork is well browned, stirring frequently to break up meat. Add the diced red pepper, green onions and garlic. Cook until tender. Stir the tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and crushed red pepper into the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese, beans and cilantro. Transfer to 9X13 casserole dish.
3.Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a 9X13 rectangle. score pastry lengthwise in half and croswise into four rectangles making eight rectangles (do not cut all the way through. Place pastry sheet over bean mixture and press against sides. Brush with egg mixture.
4.Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden. Serve with sour cream and guacamole.

Monday, August 8, 2011

On the Menu and Shopping Notes

Ground Turkey Noodle Bake (asparagus)
Tator Topped Fish Bake (cauliflower)
Spicy Black Bean Empanadas (bell peppers)
Turkey Stuffed Peppers (bell peppers)
Lattice Topped Chicken Bake (cauliflower)
Autumn Risotto with Chicken and Cranberries (celery)

Shopping notes:

3 lbs ground meat. I got 3 lbs of ground pork cheap this week, cooked it all up with a large chopped onion and about 3-4 garlic cloves, then divided it into 3 bags to use in my meals this week.
2 lbs chicken
4-6 4 oz. fish fillets depending on how many you are feeding

Produce not in my basket:
Green Onion
Ingredients for guacamole (optional)

Refrigerated Items:
Cream Cheese
Sour Cream
Mozarella Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Puff Pastry Sheets
Crescent Rolls
Tator Tots

Uncommon Pantry Items:

Basic Sauce Mix

This is a recipe I learned in college and keep in my pantry. It can replace a can of cream soup in any recipe. You can add in chopped chicken or a 4 oz can of mushrooms if desired.

2 cups powdered instant non-fat milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken bouillon
1-2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Combine all ingredients in a plastic bag mixing well. Yeild: Equal to 9 cans of cream soup. Store in a closed plastic bag or airtight container until ready to use.

To substitute for 1 can of cream soup: Combine 1/3 cup of dry mix with 1 1/4 cup cold water. Cook and stir on stove top or in microwave until thickened. Add mixture to casseroles as you would a can of soup.

Back In Action-Ground Turkey Noodle Bake

I actually have a week full of meals planned for the first time in I don't even know how long. I'm not sure if this is an excuse or not, but I was in a 4-wheeling accident about 3 days after my second to last post. After that I didn't do much cooking for a while. I do have a few pictures of meals that I made over the last 3 months, but not much! The accident combined with end of the school year and a very busy summer and I have been slacking in the cooking department. Last night I cooked Sunday Dinner one of the few times in the last 4 years I have had to cook on Sunday. We live a few miles from my in-laws and they make us dinner almost every Sunday. It was Fast Sunday so I wanted something quick and easy. We have 1:00 church so I made this up before going to church and then just had to throw it in the oven when we got home and made up a quick salad with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber from this weeks basket. It was SO delicious!

4 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound ground pork or turkey
1 garlic clove
1 medium onion, chopped
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/4 cup water
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup shreaded mozzarella cheese (or more realistically I put 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 375*. Cook noodles with asparagus acording to package directions (al dente), drain and set aside. In same pot combine basic sauce mix, water and cream cheese. Bring to a low simmer until thickened. Add noodle mix back in and toss. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook ground meat with onion and garlic, drain and return to skillet. Stir in tomato sauce and italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. In a 9X13 baking dish layer noodle mixture, meat mixture, and top with cheese. Bake 25-30 or until hot and cheese is melted.

Notes: I assembled this before hand and refrigerated it then increased cook time to 40-50 minutes.

Instead of basic sauce mix you can use 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mandarin Pasta Salad

WOW! Has it really been over a month since I last posted?!? Summer is SO busy! (I have 4 kids doing swimming and dance and 3 kids playing baseball) and add to that we are finishing our basement ourselves and it's hard to find time for anything! This is one of my ALL TIME favorite recipes, Bountiful Baskets was nice enough to deliver all the ingredients right to my site this week! YEA! I was planning it as a main dish but we got invited over to a bar-be-que so I omited the CHICKEN and took it as a side. Either way it's delicious! TIP: Do not put the dressing on until you are ready to serve!


1 teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/3 cup vinegar

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon seasame oil

1 envelope onion soup mix

2 teaspoons sugar


8 oz uncooked pasta (I used penne because that's what we had, the recipe called for bowties)

1 cucumber, sliced thinly

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup chopped red onion (I didn't put this in because I prefer no onion)

1 bunch spinach, chopped (I tripple wash and spin my spinach because fresh spinach is DIRTY!)

1-11oz can mandarin orange segments

2 cups diced cooked chicken (also I omited as mentioned)

1/2 cups sliced almonds, toasted

For dressing, whisk together ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For salad, combine ingredients, when ready to serve toss with dressing!

Easy and Delicious, just the way I like it!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

When we first got married I had NO idea how to cook, I grew up on hamburger helper and mac and cheese. My husband was always asking if I could make a casserole. I don't know why, but it took me years to learn how. I never seemed to be able to find recipes. Anyway, now casseroles are about my favorite thing to make, and this one is SO YUMMY!

Cooked Rice (2 1/2 cups water to 1 cup rice)
3 cups broccoli, chopped and cooked
3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonaise
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. curry powder
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Layer bottom of greased 9X13 dish with rice, broccoli and chicken. Mix soup, mayo, lemon juice and curry powder. Layer mixture on top of chicken. Top with cheese. Mix bread crumbs and butter and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.