Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Recipe

Today I have a food recipe for you. :) The food recipe is quickly becoming a popular staple in our household, so I thought I would share it with you.

Stuffed Pepper Recipe

I found a yummy and quick(!) stuffed pepper recipe while reading Mama Laughlin's blog, that actually looked good to me. I decided to try it out with a couple of changes, and have since made it several times. It's super quick (especially if you make the rice in advance), and even the hubby likes it (after lots of convincing to try it :) ). Here's how I made it:

Stuffed Pepper Recipe:
Makes about 8 peppers

1 lb lean ground beef
1-2 cups cooked homemade spanish rice (recipe to come later this week :), but could substitute any recipe, or boxed/frozen version you like)
1/4-1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4 cup low fat sour cream (just enough to get everything to stick together, could substitute for plain low fat greek yogurt)
1/2 cup low fat mexican blend cheese
8 Bell Peppers (any color you like, I normally just buy a couple packages of the tri-colored peppers because the hubs likes the red peppers and I like the yellow and orange ones. I use the extra pepper and the tops for the copped bell pepper)

I start by turning the oven on to 350 and browning the ground beef with about 1 to 1 1/2 tbls of taco seasoning. While the ground beef is browning I remove the tops and inards of the peppers, reserving the tops to add to the filling. I start a pot of boiling water and boil the pepers for 3 to 5 minutes, just until they start to soften. I then pull the peppers out and let them cool in the baking dish. I chop the tops and remaining peppers into bite size pieces and add them to the ground beef.

At this point I normally get out a large bowl and dump in the rice, sour cream, 1/4-1/3 cup of the shredded cheese (approximated to how cheesy I want the filling) and ground beef/pepper mixture. I just stir it all together until everything looks like it's evenly mixed and holding together, then I fill the cooked peppers with the filling and top with the remaining shredded cheese.

You can then put the baking dish of peppers in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown.

This has become a new staple in our house. The last couple times I've decided that I'm too lazy for all the work with the peppers though and have just made the filling into a casserole with some extra chopped peppers. We also tried a variation with shredded chicken and left-over black beans, that was really good. The ground beef is still my favorite, but the black beans may have to make their way into our regular recipe. :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Simpler Life

I was reading the blog of my newest follower and came across her post on simple living. It really struck me, since this is something the hubby and I have been trying to work towards. This probably should have been my first post of this new series, although frankly I'm still trying to figure this out as we go.

Our simpler life:
What is a simpler life? What does that mean for us? We've started by trying to declutter our home, and change our spending habits (I'm forcibly dragging the hubby through this one :) ) to support as many local and sustanible products and services as possible, but is that really simple living? They are steps toward where we want to be, but not the whole.

I was really struck. A couple Saturdays ago, the hubby and I went and spent the day at Barnes and Noble, researching our next trip. We got a bottle of water in the cafe, collected a couple books from the travel section and broke out a spiral notebook and the laptop. We didn't need anything fancy, or to be running from one entertainment to the next. We were content to sit with a couple of books and just talk to each other for hours. I was amazed by the fact that it was probably the most fun Saturday we had spent together since I started getting Saturdays off a couple months ago.

All that is to say that we found our bliss. Doing simple tasks with minimal fuss and distractions.

I am also working to make our lives more sustainable by removing unnecessary chemicals and energy drains. As you might have seen, I have been using up the last of our chemical laden cleaning supplies and switching them out for homemade non-toxic versions. It has been exciting and satisfying to find recipes that work, though some have required a few experiments first. I'm finding that it is making me impatient to get rid of the products I use less often.

Needless to say, we still have quite aways to go, but for now this is how we are trying to simplify our lives.

And because no post is complete with out photos... Here are two of my cat acting like a jerk:

And here is one where he saw the camera before I took the picture. He wanted to make sure he looked nice and normal for the camera : P