Sunday, March 10, 2013

Stuffed Peppers or How to Cook a Delicious Meal with Bits and Pieces of Leftovers and Free Food

Last Sunday I decided to see what I could make with some of the odds and sods that were hanging out in the fridge and the pantry.  As it turned out, with a little imagination, I had the makings of a delicious meal! This doesn't happen very often when all of the little containers of leftovers can work together and make something that is greater than the sum of its parts. But...it worked...and I was delighted as this is SO NOT MY FORTE!
Well, let's see what we have...in the fridge...a hunk of cheddar that is starting to dry out at the edges. Not too appealing on its own.
 In the pantry - a box of black beans and rice. Now, I don't buy these sorts of packaged foods but for 7 years I had a parent pack me a big bag of mixes and spices and packaged sauces at Christmas and at the end of the school year as a gift. He was retired from McCormicks where they make all of these things and they cost him next to nothing. My daughter LOVED all the free packs of Swiss Chalet sauce and I appreciated the abundance of spices!
In the fridge - TOO MANY PEPPERS! (Why does this make me think of that childhood book ' "The Five Little Peppers"? By mistake both Michael and I had bought a package of peppers the previous week- what was I going to do with them all??
A jar of leftover tomato sauce....ok, an idea is starting to come to me...
A handful of wilted green onions - cleaned up and chopped up they don't look so bad...
I got a good amount of grated cheddar from that partially dried out block.
I won, yes won, a bottle of Frank's RedHot sauce (yum yum) at school when we had our chili lunch - those who brought in chili to share, like me, got a nice little gift box and this was in it! LOVE this stuff!
 I had an over abundance of zucchini thanks to buying an extra large package at Costco - need to get rid of some of them as they don't last long....
 The result?  Stuffed peppers, vegetarian style! I don't usually cook by the seat of my pants like this, this is more Michael's area of expertise whereas I usually use a recipe. But as he was in Miami at a conference for the weekend and because I was feeling inspired by this mix of available ingredients I went for it!

First I put cleaned out the peppers and added a big spoonful of tomato sauce.
I cooked up the black beans and rice and added a healthy portion to the peppers... along with a shake or two of Frank's hot sauce :) Did I say I LOVE that sauce??
 These two pictures are reversed...I added chopped up zucchini then another dollop of tomato sauce.
 and another shake or two of Frank's hot sauce, truth be told...
Then I topped the whole thing with grated cheddar.....
 covered with tinfoil and baked for 25 minutes in a 375 oven.  I tested the peppers with a fork as I didn't want them to get mushy but I felt they needed more time so I popped them back in for another 15 minutes for a total of 40 minutes in all.
Perfect! I added a few chopped green onions and dug right in! Sooooooooooo tasty! Even my daughter had one....or two...
Close...
Closer.... 
Closest!
 A nicely balanced vegetarian dish with a little red wine on the side...nom nom nom!
Leftovers for lunch! I felt pretty proud of myself for using up some things that had sat in my pantry and fridge for awhile and might have ended up getting tossed out as food waste. Cost of this meal??

Hmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder what I can create out of free/old stuff today???

12 comments:

  1. Without the cheese for me please... and I'll have two!
    My Dad was a chef, he always said that unless the cupboard was truly bare then you could concoct a decent meal out of hardly anything.
    Jane x
    PS...I DID want to elope, but Chris wanted the 'do'.

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  2. Yum! This looks so good!

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  3. Well, now that looks delicious! You are one creative cookie! :)!

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  4. That looks yummy, I love stuffed peppers! How is your neck?

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  5. The seat of your pants looks yummy. Wait, when you cook by the your seat it looks tasty. Never mind!

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  6. Yummm! Hey want to come to Hawaii and cook for me?

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  7. Hi Jane,
    Hey, were you able to update the RSS feed for my blog? I notice that it's not updating on your sidebar. I miss you. :)!

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  8. Jane, I saw the picture of these on Facebook and I"m so glad you posted how you made them. They not only look delicious but it sounds like delicious ingredients as well. I have absolutely no talent for making up meals out of leftovers so I'm tremendously impressed with this.

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  9. Givemyselfaraise.wordpress.comMarch 17, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    Yum! I love Franks...hate to say it but its on my buy list every month. I eat it on eggs, pizza, toast, and definitely would on these! They look so yummy!

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  10. Just stopped over to send some cyber love, trust me you won't catch a thing.

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  11. Well, if I do I'll just get out my neti pot :)

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  12. Looks yummy! I would totally eat that :) You may have hidden talents in the kitchen you didn't realize! (PS We love Franks at my house too-even my 20 month old son likes it in his scrambled eggs!)

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