Happy Cinco de Mayo! Holidays are centered around food and drink. So let me share a Spanish inspired recipe with you that I threw together this weekend with a bunch of leftovers. Feel free to chow down with a fresh and strong margarita! Ole!
4 large green bell peppers
1.5 cups of rice (I used left over Spanish rice that I made from a store-bought package)
1 cup of chopped yellow Spanish onion
1 tbsp. of crushed garlic
1 packet of taco seasoning (do not add your own salt & pepper, there is plenty in the store-bought taco mix)
1 lb. of ground turkey* (I had some leftover from a taco salad)
1 tbsp. of ketchup
2 tsp. of sriracha
1/2 cup (or 4 tbsp.) of shredded cheese (Anything works I did a Mexican blend, but plain cheddar is good too).
**Add frozen corn or canned beans (About 1/2 a cup should do the trick) to stretch the ground meat further in case you don’t have that much leftover. Although if making fresh do a 1lb. package of ground turkey. (chicken or beef would work just as well).
Brown the meat with a little vegetable oil, taco seasoning, the onions, & the garlic in a nonstick pan over medium heat. My secret tip is that when the meat is done, stir in the ketchup and sriracha. It adds a good tomato-ey flavor and keeps the meat moist. Plus the sriracha adds a yummy spice/kick. Once the meat is cooked, crumbled and cooled, mix it with the corn (or beans) & rice. Note that while the meat is cooking, prepare the peppers by slicing off the tops and cutting out the ribs & seeds. Rinse and dry before stuffing. Lastly, stuff the pepper and top with the shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 min or until the cheese has melted & pepper has charred. Serves 4 people, 1 pepper per person.
Now that we’re getting in to the thick of cold winter nights, (the forecast said 10 degrees tomorrow night. What?!), I’m really getting in to the thick of hot, homey, comfort food. And nothing says hot and homey (that’s homey, not horny, people…get your minds out of the gutter) like meatloaf with red sauce.
I got this classic recipe from the back of a box. For those of you who don’t know about Lipton’s Onion Mix, trust me, you need it in your life. Consider it a hand-me-down. My mom told me about it, now I’m telling you.
1 package of Lipton Onion Mix
2 lbs. of ground beef (seeing there’s only two of us, I tend to only buy a pound. It comes out just as tasty.)
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup Heinz ketchup (ok, you caught me. The recipe doesn’t call for the Heinz brand per say, but we’re from Pittsburgh. Gotta rep it.)
Now listen closely – preheat the oven to 350 degrees, mix all ingredients together, and shape it in a baking pan (I give you license to get creative with your meatloaf shapes). After an hour, you’re done. Not only do you get a delicious meal, it also makes your home smell just like mom’s cooking.
Something to note: my husband hates ketchup (you can read about it here) so I tend to leave it out. But, the recipe can work with or without it.
People say Sunday is the day of God, Rest, and Football. As you know I am a prolaxer (professional relaxer, for those of you slow on the uptake) So when it comes to a nice Sunday dinner, I am not one to slave over to stove for hours. I want something I can set & forget while I watch some NFL games and pray to God that my team wins! Here is an easy and yummy crock pot special that you can make any day of the week, mine just happened to be on a Sunday.
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (dark meat tends to be juicer and less dry so feel free to use chicken thighs vs. breasts. I just had breasts lying around…haha oh breasts.)
3 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
Pinch of dried basil (if you do fresh, add it at the end and not to crock pot mixture).
Salt & pepper to taste
(So I added a few of my own twists since again god forbid a recipe is too easy or short for me: 1 tbsp. of brown sugar, 1 chopped medium onion, 1 tsp of sri racha or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
Cut your chicken breasts in half, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in bottom of crock pot. Chop up your garlic cloves (or use 3 tbsp. of that jarred minced stuff we keep referencing) and add to the cup and half of liquids listed above (And my additions because I am an over achiever and act like I have an important cooking blog or something). Pour over chicken and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.
Remove chicken from the crock pot and transfer to covered plate to keep warm. Simmer or reduce the sauce in a pot until thickened to desired consistency. Serve sauce over chicken.
Note, I made the jazzed up rice and steamed some broccoli to go with this and it was pretty yummy!
What a bad rep meatloaf has. Often referred to as: cafeteria cuisine or diner drab, meatloaf is known as dry & un-flavorful. Plus if you take away the fat of pork or beef, you are setting yourself up for failure. FALSE! The old myth that only fat=flavor is debunked with this recipe. Not only is this meatloaf delish, its a great example of comfort food done right.
1 lb ground turkey
1.5 cups of mirepoix mix (you can chop your own or buy the pre chopped stuff. Its just diced celery, carrots, and onions so don’t be fooled by the fancy French name. Note it can be equal parts of each or adjusted based on what you like. I personally decrease the carrots and increase the onions, but to each his own).
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (I lied its actually a total of 2 tbsp. 1 will go in the dish and 1 will be used as a glaze: see cooking instructions below).
1 tbsp. bbq sauce (any brand of the bottled stuff, don’t need home made on this one).
1 tbsp. ketchup
1 cup bread crumbs (I do the Italian seasoned ones, but if you have plain lying around don’t sweat it).
2 tbsp. minced garlic (keep a jar of this in your fridge, upwards of 5 recipes on the blog use it).
Salt & Pepper to taste (I add a few pinches of red chili flakes too, but I love spicy).
In a non stick pan, sautee the mirepoix, olive oil, salt pepper, garlic, and chili flakes. Once the veggies are softened (and cooled! don’t add hot, straight from pan. you will end up cooking the egg versus using it as a binder) add to the meat, along with the egg, sauces, and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Pour in meatloaf pan and take the same portions of the sauce (1 tbsp. worcestershire, 1 tbsp. bbq, and 1 tbsp. ketchup, mix and pour glaze on top of the meatloaf (I spread it with the back of a spoon to coat evenly. Trust me on this, not only does it hold in the moisture, but it adds a great crust of flavor since the sugars will caramelize when baking). Throw into a pre heated oven at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes based on how deep your loaf pan is. Comment below if this hasn’t changed your mind about meatloaf. Note, I served with the pantry gravy (recipe under sauce boss) when my dad came over for dinner. Also note, word on the street is there is a great variation on this using dry French onion soup mix, stay tuned for more on that.