Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stuffed Peppers

I'm not a big fan of cooked green peppers, so I used red and orange for this recipe. Jim took some lean ground beef out of the freezer and since I had the day off, it was my job to decide what to do with it. I searched the Internet and sort of combined a few recipes to come up with this. It was so good!

1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1 cup water
3 bell peppers - any color will work

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
pepper to taste
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove and discard the tops, seeds and membranes of the bell peppers (I cut them lengthwise, but it's not necessary). Place the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until all water is gone.

Heat oil in a skillet and saute the onion and ground beef until the onion is tender and beef is browned. Add in garlic, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and 4 oz. of the tomato sauce, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked rice to the beef mixture and mix together. Spoon the mixture into the peppers and top each pepper with the remaining sauce.

Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes or until peppers are tender. Remove the foil and top peppers with cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I've been on this guacamole kick lately, which includes polishing off the whole bowl in one sitting. Jim helps eat it, but it's become quite the obsession. Below is a quick and easy recipe that I've been using. Jim hates tomatoes so I use fresh salsa instead...I can get away with that. Feel free to use a small diced tomato though. We just can't get enough! Enjoy!

1 large or 2 small avocados
1/2 lime
1/2 small red/yellow onion, minced (a large shallot would also work)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. fresh salsa
1-2 tbsp. Frank's RedHot
a handful of fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Peel the avocado and place the halves into a bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the avocado until smooth (leave it a little chunky if you prefer). Squeeze the lime over the avocado until all the juice has been squeezed out. Add in the onion, garlic, salsa, RedHot sauce, salt and pepper. Mix together and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Turkey Meatball Subs

I've tried this recipe before with ground sirloin and they were so good! I decided to give it a try with ground turkey and they were just as good. Now, the recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds of ground meat, but I only used a pound and adjusted the rest of the recipe accordingly. That's why there are some strange measurements. I also made the sauce to go along with it. Enjoy!!!

1 pound ground turkey
1 large egg, beaten
2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/6 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/6 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano
Coarse salt and black pepper

5 Minute Marinara Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
A handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, about 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounces) can crushed tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 sub buns, with or without sesame seeds
1 (10-ounce) bag (2 1/2 cups) shredded provolone or Italian 4-cheese blend
Shredded basil (sweet), for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl and punch a well into the center of meat. Fill well with the egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire, parsley, cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Mix up meatball ingredients until well combined, yet not over-mixed. Divide mix into 4 equal parts, roll each part into 4 balls and space equally onto a nonstick baking sheet. Place meatballs in oven and roast about 20 minutes. Break a meatball open and make sure meat is cooked through before removing from the oven.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and garlic. When garlic starts sizzling, add herbs and crushed pepper. Allow oil to infuse for half a minute, then stir in the tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a bubble, reduce heat, and simmer until meatballs are removed from oven.

Combine meatballs and sauce and pile into sub rolls, 3-4 meatballs per sub. Top with shredded cheese and place under subs under broiler to melt cheese. Top with shredded basil.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chocolate Passion Bowl

So the in-laws were coming over for dinner and I decided to make dessert. I was going to try a different recipe, but I had never made it before, and I didn't want the test run to be on them. So I decided to make this Chocolate Passion Bowl instead. Easy...Delicious...Fun...did I mention delicious? I'm not going to list the ingredients or what I did since it's so easy to make, but I did use strawberries instead of raspberries. We're still eating the leftovers. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sloppy Garden Joes

These were really good! We had a bunch of veggies sitting around (not exactly what the recipe called for) and I knew I had seen this recipe before, so I decided to try it. Here's the original recipe, and then below is what I did. Enjoy!!

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

5-6 button mushrooms - I hate mushrooms but I throw a couple in for Jim
1 lb. ground turkey
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 - 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, depending on your taste

a few dashes of Red Hot sauce, to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté garlic, onions, yellow pepper, mushrooms and ground turkey in a pan over medium-high heat until the turkey is cooked through. Add tomato sauce, diced, barbecue sauce and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until thick. Serve on toasted or plain buns.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lemon Orzo Salad

I love Orzo...such a fun little pasta. I wanted a cold pasta salad and just sort of threw this together. It was delish!

1/2 pound cooked orzo
1 lemon, juiced
3-4 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo according to directions and cool. Into a bowl, squeeze the juice of one lemon. (Use half a lemon if you don't want too much lemon taste). Whisk the lemon juice while streaming in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the parsley, salt and pepper. Add the cooked orzo to the bowl and toss.

And done...very easy!

Curried Honey Mustard Chicken

I was looking through our spice cabinet and noticed some curry powder. I personally have never cooked anything with curry powder, but I have had it. I looked online for a recipe and came across this one. It was so delicious! Below are the ingredients scaled down for 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. We also used olive oil instead of butter

2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. olive oil.
2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. honey
2 tbsp. Dijon-style prepared mustard
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 pinch ground cayenne pepper
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

In a medium bowl combine the olive oil, honey, mustard, curry powder and cayenne powder. Mix well. Place chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch (or smaller for smaller amount of chicken) baking dish and pour honey/mustard mixture over chicken. Cover and place in refrigerator. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dish from refrigerator and bake, covered, in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove cover and bake about 10-15 minutes more, or until done and juices run clear (baking time will depend a little on how thick your chicken breasts are).

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cedar Planked Salmon

Jim bought some cedar planks and really wanted to use them. We had salmon in the freezer so we decided to give it a shot. We used a recipe that came with the planks, which was a dry rub. We ate it with a side of roasted zucchini and wild rice.

Ingredients for dry rub:

2 tbsp. kosher or coarse salt
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. dried tarragon (optional)

Cooking directions:
Use one fillet of fresh salmon and 3 tablespoons of the rub. Season the salmon with the rub and set salmon, skin side down, on soaked plank (instructions for soaking plank). Season with dry rub. Place the plank on a preheated grill with low to medium heat. Grill for 10 to 20 minutes with lid closed, until salmon flakes easily.

Tequila Lime Chicken

Jim came up with this really easy marinade for chicken and it was quite good! We ate it with a side of mashed potatoes and a side of roasted red peppers and yellow squash.

1 lime, juiced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 oz. tequila
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix together the lime juice, olive oil, tequila and cayenne pepper in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Place chicken inside bag and coat thoroughly. Let marinate in fridge for 30-60 minutes; not too long because the lime juice will start to break down the chicken. Remove chicken from bag, season both sides with salt and pepper and grill until cooked through.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Beef Enchiladas

I could seriously make some type of Mexican meal every night of the week. I had some ground beef in the freezer and decided to make some beef enchiladas. I found this recipe online and while it's not authentic by any means, it's quite yummy!! I added a little bit of garlic and onion to the ground beef while it was cooking, and I used fresh salsa instead of salsa in the jar. I would definitely make these again!

1 pound ground beef
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
1 cup water
2 cups cooked rice
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
10 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

In a large skillet, cook beef (and onion and garlic) over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in rice. Cook and stir until liquid is evaporated. Spread about 2 tablespoons of refried beans, 1/4 cup beef mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese down the center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam side down in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dishes. Combine salsa and soup; pour down the center of enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.