Posts Tagged ‘green peppers’
The end of October is upon us folks. As much as I am disturbed by that fact, The Secret Recipe Club is here to save the day. This month I was assigned to Colie’s Kitchen. At first I really wanted to be a kid in the kitchen and make her Mall Style Pretzel Dogs, but I then found myself torn between the Gnocchi with Spicy Tomato and Wine Sauce and Scooter’s Spaghetti. I hope your powers of observation figured out which one won the battle. I mean come on, it has cream cheese in it which is like peanut butter in a dessert to me = weakness.
While making this I had the pasta boiling, the beef browning and the vegetables cooking in the microwave all at the same time. They all had about 5 minutes of time to get going, so I prepared as much as I could in advance and then threw it all together at once to cut down on time in the kitchen. I think everyone can appreciate a little less time spent cooking and more time enjoying your efforts afterwards.
Not to my surprise, the cream cheese mixture was my favorite part. It added such a creamy deliciousness that I could not stop eating it (and made me think about making lasagna with cream cheese instead of ricotta). The original recipe said it serves 10 but there’s no way that was happening for me. Maybe if you served it with a side salad or veggies. Or maybe I just have the appetite of a 16 year old boy.
Serves about 8 alone or 10 when served with a side)
8 oz. uncooked spaghetti (I used elbow noodles)
1 pound ground beef
1 large can (26.5 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1/3 cup chopped onions
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp milk
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
1 small can (3 oz.) French fried onions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- Cook pasta to al dente, drain and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain excess grease. Add spaghetti sauce to skillet and heat on low while you prepare the rest.
- While the beef cooks, combine onions, peppers and butter in small glass bowl. Cover and microwave 3-4 minutes on high until soft.
- Add cream cheese and milk to vegetables and stir well.
- Assemble in the following order: half of that spaghetti sauce, pasta, cream cheese/vegetable mixture, remainder of the spaghetti sauce, Parmesan cheese (amount subject to your own taste)
- Bake for 25 minutes. Top with French Fried onion and continue baking 5 more minutes.
Source: Adapted slightly from Colie’s Kitchen.
One cajun mac and cheese has been seen on here already, and despite being incredibly similar to the one today I had to post it as well because it was good enough to not care. Besides, this one is made with chicken instead of sausage!
Stovetop mac and cheese is my favorite kind because it is always extra creamy compared to the baked versions I have had. I once even made one so creamy it should’ve been illegal. But I do appreciate the crunchy tops they tend to get after being baked. I suppose a little trip under a broiler with a crumb topping would give me the best of both worlds, but that little idea will be saved for another day because it did not occur to me until just now while writing this post.
One year ago: Pumpkin Biscoff Cream Cheese Bread
STOVETOP CAJUN CHICKEN MAC AND CHEESE
8 oz. dry penne or macaroni pasta
1 cup shredded or chopped cooked chicken
2-1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1-1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 green bell pepper, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
8 oz. freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 oz. freshly shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 tsp dry mustard
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Toss the cooked chicken with 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large sauce pot over medium high heat. Add the green bell pepper and garlic and saute briefly—about two minutes. Add the flour and stir constantly until it starts to turn a dark golden color. This will take about three minutes or so.
- When the roux starts to turn brown, add the milk and keep stirring. Cook, while stirring, for about five minutes or until the sauce starts to get thick. Add the cheeses and mix to melt.
- Add the remaining teaspoon and a half of Cajun seasoning, as well as the dry mustard, to the cheese sauce and mix well. Then, add the chicken and cooked noodles. Toss to coat and serve.
Source: Adapted slightly from Eat, Live, Run
Hot pizza dip has been all over the place. Was it from anticipation of the Superbowl? If so, they totally got me because that’s exactly what I brought to the Superbowl viewing party I attended. Speaking of anticipating the Superbowl, I knew I would be piling up my plate with all kinds of things, and going for seconds, thirds, fourths… so I made this dip lighter! Totally counters the bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos that Brandi made O:-).
I also used mini turkey pepperoni because they seemed much more suitable for a dip, being smaller and more scoopable. Although I have to admit, pictures I have seen of this dip on others’ blogs seem prettier with the bigger slices of pepperoni. Leave it to me to choose functionality over appearance. Good thing it still tasted great! Just like pizza, but with a creamy layer of goodness. Yes that would be the cream cheese mixture I am talking about. Cream cheese is, after all, one of my favorite ingredients.
LIGHTER PIZZA DIP
6 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup pizza sauce
2 oz. mini turkey pepperoni
2 Tbsp green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp chopped onion
2 Tbsp black olives, sliced
Italian seasoning (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, oregano, parsley, basil, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
- Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese on top of the cream cheese mixture. Spread the pizza sauce over all.
- Microwave the pepperoni for about 30 seconds just to get some of the fat out of them so you don’t end up with a greasy mess on top of your pizza dip.
- Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top with green pepper, onion, pepperoni and olive slices. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning if using. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and bubbly.
- Serve hot with baguette slices, tortilla chips, bagel chips or Fritos scoops.
Lasagna is a great comfort food. But soup is my favorite comfort food right now, so why not combine the two? You should be able to figure out the answer to that judging by the title of this post you are reading, which is “yes, do it!” because the result is wonderful. I know it sounds weird at first because I thought the same thing. But I have been converted and am so glad that there are leftovers. And they are all mine – back off!
The ricotta-blob bread was my favorite part (thank you Stephanie for introducing the term ricotta-blob into my food vocabulary). The ricotta brought the entire lasagna-feel of the soup together. And I loved letting it soak up some of the soup juices. MMmm juices.
One year ago: Pumpkin Pancakes
LASAGNA SOUP WITH RICOTTA BREAD
2 tsp olive oil
1 lb Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-32 oz container reduced sodium chicken broth
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
1-14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 oz whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (plus more for topping)
1/2 cup lowfat ricotta
1 loaf multi-grain French bread, sliced 1/2″ thick
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup each of Parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta, set aside.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.
- Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella, basil, and the 3 tablespoons Parmesan.
- While the pasta cooks, spread a tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto each bread slice. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and bread edges are crunchy. Sprinkle more Mozzarella on top of the soup and serve with ricotta-blob bread.
Last week I came down with a pretty nasty cold. But since my cat is not much of a cook, I had to make myself some soup – or chili rather. This recipe is my dad’s so it was the closest thing to having someone else cook for me as I could get without leaving my apartment.
This chili actually recently won best chili in a contest my dad entered in their community. No wonder, when we used to live in Texas he was on a chili team! The only thing I changed was using hot chili beans instead of mild.
Most of the time I double this recipe. In which case I sometimes use half chuck steak and half ground beef, and one can hot beans and one can mild (and yes I actually did double it this time but am posting the undoubled version). As an added bonus, I also whipped up my mom’s jalapeno cornbread which I will be sharing with you tomorrow!
One year ago: Oven-Fried Onion Rings
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. beef chuck steak, cut into bite-sized pieces (may substitute with ground beef)
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
1-10.75 oz. can condensed tomato soup
3/4 cup water
6 oz. beer (half a bottle)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Tabasco hot sauce (optional)
1-15 oz. can hot Mexican chili beans
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
- In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion in olive oil until tender. Add meat and brown until only a little pink remains.
- Add sauce, paste, soup, water, beer, and seasonings. Thoroughly mix and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until thick, about 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
- Stir in the beans, pepper and cheese. Simmer for another 15 minutes and then serve immediately with additional cheese on top, and with either crackers or corn bread.
Source: My dad
Brent and I spent most of Sunday and Monday house hunting in Cape Girardeau, MO. It’s exhausting! Even though I won’t be living there, I am obviously the one who will be using the kitchen most during weekend visits, so I was all over the kitchens in every house haha. But I felt a little weird when the kids were home at one house. Don’t mind me, just a stranger snooping through your things and opening all your doors. Found a couple that we both thought were great, and one in particular tops the list. Just gotta deal with the financing now (sooo glad he’s the one buying a house and not me!).
I’m not moving there, at least not yet. I have two more years left in my PhD program in Memphis before I am set free. But Brent recently graduated, is now a bona fide PA-C, and accepted a job there working in Neurosurgery at St. Francis. It seems like a great place to work and I enjoy the town. Honeslty I think I could live there when I am done. But for now, it’s only 2.5 hours away (and 1.5 hours south of St. Louis), which is only a little further than when he was still taking classes in McKenzie, TN so I don’t think it’ll be bad. Although it will be strange not living together anymore. Who am I going to cook for!? I am going to have far too many leftovers and will talk to my cat too much… beware of the cat lady sickness!
Thankfully I made this dish while he is still here because I don’t think I could have resisted eating the entire pan had I been left to myself. Brent’s friend, Steve, was in from out of town as well so between the three of us there was absolutely no chance for leftovers. Steve proceeded to request it every meal for the duration of his stay. I thought about caving in to such a request, because it really was that good! But there are far too many other things I want to cook.
P.S. Today is Brent’s 28th birthday! A group of friends are going out to dinner tonight, and I am going to make him a fabulous dessert (which he may hate/love me for). I’ll be posting it tomorrow.
2 containers refrigerated biscuit dough, 6 biscuits each (I used Pillsbury)
1 jar pizza sauce
2 cups shredded fresh mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup quartered Turkey pepperoni
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup sliced green bell pepper
- Preheat oven as per directions on dough. With a sharp knife, divide each biscuit into 4. In a large bowl, combine diced biscuit dough, sauce, 1-1/2 cups cheese and toppings. Stir to combine.
- Pour mixture into greased oven safe skillet or 9×13 baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top along with the dried basil. Bake according to directions on dough, checking to make sure dough is cooked through and cheese is bubbling (I baked mine for an additional 5 minutes.) Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Source: Adapted slightly from Pass the Sushi
After a dinner-time workout, it’s really nice to have something on a plate ready to be eaten shortly after. (Especially when my workout consisted of running outside in 100+ degree heat. Why? Because I am a crazy person.) I’m so hungry after working out no matter what time of day, that pushing back dinner time leaves me ravaged. Preparing this meal, I mixed up the marinade and dropped in the chicken before leaving for the gym, then after a much needed shower upon returning I got it cooking. With a little drizzle of some of the sauce that accumulated in the bottom of the pan this was a fabulously tasty and quick meal.
The peanuts are my favorite part.
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 each: red, green, yellow pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sherry wine
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 2-24 hours beforehand, combined marinade ingredients in a baking dish. Add chicken to the marinade and let marinate for 2-24 hours, turning occasionally to coat. Let chicken sit at room temperature in the marinade for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When ready to cook, heat an oven-safe skillet on medium heat. Slice green, red and yellow peppers. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet and add peppers with a pinch of salt, reserving a few pepper slices. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Push peppers to the side and turn heat up to medium high. Add chicken breasts and sear on each side until brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. After the second side has seared, top the chicken with reserved pepper slices and add the entire skillet to the oven uncovered. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately top with peanuts. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with brown rice.
Source: How Sweet It Is
Rotisserie chickens are my new favorite convenience food item. The first time I had ever purchased one, was when I prepared a recipe from “Just Tell Me What to Eat!”. Immediately I thought to myself, why haven’t I been doing this all along? It makes life so much easier, because I’m not one to have leftover chicken in my fridge just waiting for a purpose (although I do at the moment after making this pizza, since I only used half of the chicken). And my grocery store carries three different types: Savory (which I used here), BBQ, and Lemon-Pepper. The possibilities are endless!
Pizza is one of my favorite foods because no matter what I’m craving, it can be put on top of a pizza crust. This time around I just wanted something with a little kick. With the help of a rotisserie chicken and some leftover homemade salsa, this pizza turned out perfect. (There’s no shame is using jarred salsa, but you should really try the homemade stuff sometime, especially since it’s takes minimal effort.)
1 Tbsp canola or olive oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
One small red bell pepper, sliced into 1/8″ rings
One small green bell pepper, sliced into 1/8″ rings
1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough
1/2 cup salsa (I used homemade)
1-1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (about half a Rotisserie chicken)
2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
Chopped cilantro (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with a pizza stone* on the middle rack.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Add bell peppers; sauté 5 minutes or until crisp-tender.
- Meanwhile, roll pizza dough onto a corn meal dusted pizza peel*.
- Stir salsa into cooked vegetables; spread over crust. Top with chicken and cheese.
- Shimmy the pizza from the pizza peel onto the pre-heated pizza stone and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until it the crust turns golden brown and the cheese starts to bubble. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, garnish with cilantro if desired then cut into slices.
*If you do not have a pizza stone or peel, roll dough out on a corn meal dusted baking sheet/pizza pan.
Source: Adapted from My Baking Addiction
Cheese. It’s the one thing I have several different kinds of in my fridge at all times. Sometimes I sit back and think it might be gross how much cheese I go through… I really should join the Cheese of the Month Club. How fun would that be? Coming up with different recipes using all kinds of cheese. Mmm it would be heavenly.
Speaking of heavenly, this mac and cheese by Jessica from How Sweet It Is has a Mexican twist. And since I’m a sucker for any variation of mac and cheese, my daily question of “What do I want for dinner?” was easily answered. I even mixed up a quick guacamole to eat along side. I was tempted to mix it in, but decided against it. This Mexican mac and cheese wasn’t missing anything!
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cups dry whole wheat elbow noodles
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup corn (frozen is fine, just thaw and dry) <– I used frozen
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
Cilantro for garnish (I used dried and put on before baking)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasta water, bring to a boil, and cook noodles.
- While noodles are cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and peppers and saute until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and corn and cook for another minute. Add shredded chicken and cumin, chili and cayenne, mixing to combine. Turn heat down to low. [Whenever pasta is done, just make sure to drain it and add it to the chicken/pepper mix.]
- Heat a small saucepan on medium heat and add butter. Once butter is sizzling, add flour and whisk to create a roux. Cook flour mixture for about 1-2 minutes, whisking continuously. Add milk and turn heat down medium-low. Add cheeses and stir, allowing cheese to melt and and sauce to thicken. It will take about 5-8 minutes for sauce to thicken – keep and eye on it and stir every minute or so to ensure the bottom is not burning. Once sauce is thick, add it to the chicken and pasta and mix to combine. Stir in sour cream and salt and pepper to taste.
- Spray a 2-1/2 quart baking dish and add mac and cheese. Top with bread crumbs, cilantro and additional cheese if desired. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden (I broiled mine for 5 minutes at the end to get the Panko bread crumbs extra toasty).
Source: Adapted slightly from How Sweet It Is
As a child I was a very picky eater. No cheese on my burgers (I cannot believe I ever shunned cheese), no lettuce on my tacos, meatloaf had a gross texture, and I almost always had an aversion to anything green – unless it was a kiwi fruit. I used to say that the only vegetables I liked were carrots, corn and potatoes. Needless to say, but this dish here was one of my least favorites. But like this dish and many others I didn’t want to ingest, I was told that I had to take three more big bites (after painfully trying to eat most of it) and then I was allowed to be done.
Thankfully I overcame my fear of vegetables (and most importantly cheese on my burgers). I think it had a lot to do with on-campus eating selections while in undergrad. The Ohio State University had an large range of places and things to eat, but after awhile I got bored due to my selectiveness and started trying new things. So here I am today eating many things I would have immediately stuck my tongue out at during my early years on this planet. Those who did not know me before college probably wouldn’t believe I used to be a picky eater. Although I still dislike meatloaf as I cannot get over the consistency. Bleh.
Since I like green peppers today, I asked my dad for his recipe for stuffed green peppers wanting to give them another chance. Apparently he didn’t have a recipe specifically for them, but apparently uses his recipe for stuffed cabbage. I changed a couple of things, such as eliminating the sauerkraut, and the end result? I now like stuffed green peppers!
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
4 green bell peppers, that can stand up on their own
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb each ground beef and Italian turkey sausage
2 tomatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
1-1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
10.75 oz Healthy Request condensed tomato soup
16 oz BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cut off the pepper stems, remove seeds, and hollow out (save pepper scraps for next step). Sprinkle the insides with a little salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish.
- Dice pepper scraps. Melt butter in a medium skillet, then saute pepper, onion and garlic until tender. Remove mixture, then cook ground beef and Italian turkey sausage until lightly browned.
- Put the pepper mixture back into the pan with the meat, add the diced tomato and dried spices, and saute 2-3 minutes. Then stir in cooked rice and 1 cup cheese, until just melted. Stuff the filling mixture into the peppers.
- Mix together in a medium bowl the tomato soup, BBQ sauce, sugar and water. Pour over peppers and into the baking dish.
- Cover the peppers with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, put remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top of each pepper. Put peppers back into the oven, uncovered, and bake 5 minutes more, or until cheese is melted.
- Spoon sauce from pan onto plate and serve stuffed peppers on top.
Source: Adapted from My Dad’s Koluky (stuffed cabbage)