3 pepper casserole – stuffed peppers

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This meal cooks in about 45 minutes. It is a one pan meal so it does not require much clean up. It tastes best if made the morning before eating or even the day before. It warms really well in the oven.

 

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large green bell pepper, diced

2 large sweet banana peppers, sliced into rings

1 large jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 cup jasmine rice, uncooked

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups beef broth OR 1 1/2 cups water with 2 teaspoons bouillon

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes

 

In a large skillet, saute the ground beef until fully cooked. Break it into small pieces as it cooks. Add the garlic and onion. Saute another 3-5 minutes. Add the peppers, cook another 3-5 minutes.

 

Add the uncooked rice. Saute another 5 minutes stirring often. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, paprika, thyme, black pepper, and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Stir. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low or just above (maintain a slow simmer). Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Do not lift lid and stir while cooking unless it appears that the water has all disappeared.

 

After 25 minutes, lift lid and fluff. Test the rice to make sure it is tender. If it is not, cook another 3-5 minutes and add water if needed. When finished, remove the lid and allow it to sit without stirring much for 5-10 minutes. Stirring too much when just cooked with cause the rice to become mushy.

Place the mixture in a prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese (optional). At this point, either move to the oven or refrigerate.

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Bake in a 350 degree oven covered for 30 minutes.

 

 

Taco soup

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Simple. Delicious. Inexpensive. Crock pot. Taco.

Have I said any words that any busy mom likes? This is a go to meal for many reasons. Made as is, it is a great soup. You can also make it with less water. Then you can place it over chips and shredded iceberg for giant nachos or taco salad. This also freezes and re-heats well. What more could you want?

1 pound ground beef cooked

1/2 cup onion, diced

1 can pinto beans, undrained

1 can rotel

1 small can diced green chili

1 can corn, undrained

1 packet taco seasoning

1 tablespoon cumin

1/4 bunch fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

****1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder**** for spicy

1-4 cans water depending on if you make soup or taco meat.

 

Put all of the ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. If the plan is to re-heat the soup later, I would stop cooking it an hour early.

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Cabbage rolls

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These cabbage rolls have a slighy different flavor than most. They do not have the sweetness typically expected. Instead, there is a more smokey flavor. Not only is this a healthy make ahead casserole type meal, but it also pairs very well with the pickled carrots and jalapeños that I have posted as well.

 

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The recipe:

First prepare the meat filling by mixing together the following:

1 pound 85% lean ground beef

1 cup of cooked white rice (not instant)

1 egg

1 yellow onion – diced

1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

After mixing this fully, keep refrigerated.

Next prepare a head of cabbage by coring it and removing the outer leaves.

Bring a very large pot of water to a boil. Once you have achieved a rolling boil, add the cabbage and cook 3-5 minutes. Remove the cabbage and allow it to cool. Once cool enough to touch, gently remove the leaves one by one trying not to break them….. but if they do it will still work.

Place the cabbage leaves with the concave surface up. Add about 1/2-1 cup of the meat mixture. Fold this into a ball and place seamed side down in an ungreased casserole pan. Continue until all meat has been used.

For the topping, mix together a 14 ounce can of petit diced tomatoes with italian seasoning as well as 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika. Pour this over the rolls.

Cover the dish using aluminum foil. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes or until thermometer inserted to the center of a roll reaches 170 degrees.

Again, we serve these with crusty french bread and some pickled carrots and jalapeños.

I have made these in the morning and stored them in the refrigerator to bake in the evening. I feel that making it ahead enhances the flavors of the dish.