Basmati-Stuffed Peppers

I meant to make this recipe last week, which means the peppers sat on the counter longer than they should have. One of them bit the dust, so I ended up using some creme brulee sized dishes to act as a fake pepper shell (it worked perfectly, by the way!). So if you have a pepper-hater in your house (ack!) then you can use this option as well!!

This recipe requires a little bit of prep work, but was very tasty. Using extra lean ground beef ensures that your filling won’t be greasy. Instead, it was perfectly moist with tender, nutty rice and a hint of spice from the jalapeno. If you like heat, leave the seeds in. If you like a milder dish, remove the seeds and ribs before you chop it. These were VERY filling and only needed a light side dish – we chose some whole wheat naan!

Basmati-Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 4 servings (2 pepper halves per serving)
Inspired by: a Cooking Light Recipe

4 large green bell peppers
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
2 cups tomato sauce, divided
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pound ground beef, extra lean

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise (through the stem), discarding the seeds and membranes. Place on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan, cut sides up.

3) Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapenos to the pan; saute 5 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Add rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely

4) Combine the cooled rice mixture, 1 cup tomato sauce, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, pepper, egg, and ground beef. Spoon about 1/2 cup meat mixture into each pepper half. Spoon remaining 1 cup tomato sauce evenly over peppers. Cover the pan and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese; bake 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Orange-Ginger Grilled London Broil

One of the most exciting things about joining the CSA this year was finding out that our farmer sells grass-fed beef. I bought a small portion because, honestly, we had never had it before. I understood the health benefits of grass-fed beef (no hormones, no antibiotics, etc), but does it TASTE GOOD?! Oh man, does it taste good?! It’s amazing! It tastes like it’s got butter in it. Heaven. But that’s not the point of this particular post….

I will admit here and now, that at age 32, I had never cooked a London broil. I had no idea what to do with one or what part of the cow it came from, but I did know that they can be notoriously tough if not cooked correctly. Come to find out, London Broil is really a cooking method and not even an official cut of meat. Most often, supermarkets will sell a top round cut into a large cut that borders between steak and roast and call that London Broil. I’ll file that away for Jeopardy…

So back to my ‘London Broil’…. this recipe gives the meat a nice soak in orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a few other flavors before going onto the grill. This steak holds the flavors of the marinade and when you pour that cooked down leftover glaze over the top, you have a meal you’re not likely to soon forget! Make sure to serve it with something to soak up all that delicious sauce!

Orange-Ginger Grilled London Broil

2 pound London Broil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp freshly minced ginger
1 Tbsp brown sugar

1) Place London Broil, soy sauce, sherry, olive oil, orange juice, garlic, and ginger in a dish with a tight fitting lid (or a ziplock bag). Toss around so the meat is well coated with the marinade. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 12 to 24 hours.

2) Heat grill to a medium heat. Remove steak from marinade, reserving marinade. Place the steak on the grill and cook 8-10 minutes per side, turning only once. [I recommend you use a meat thermometer to get your meat just how you like it. Here’s a good chart on what temp you’re looking for!] Loosely cover the steak with a piece of foil. Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

3) While meat rests, pour reserved marinade into a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced slightly.

(61) Chipotle Tamale Pie

This recipe got mixed reviews on Cooking Light’s website and after tasting it, I was surprised. We had a guest for dinner and he and my husband both had seconds, so if that tells you what we thought of it…

I made it almost exactly as written. I had a pound of meat and used a touch more onion/pepper, only because I hated to waste it. I will say that I think the chipotle hot sauce (I used Tabasco brand) makes the dish! Also, I couldn’t find the exact beans mentioned, so I bought a can of store brand “Spicy Chili Beans”. They were perfect! The boys topped theirs off with a few more dashes of hot sauce and some sour cream. The baby and I ate ours just as it was (yes, she loved it, little weirdo!).  A nice green salad from the farm box and we had a great meal! Two thumbs up!

PS: I made the filling the night before and just did the topping right before baking it. Worked great that way!!

Chipotle Tamale Pie

This spicy pie needs only a salad to make the meal complete. Use a disposable aluminum pan wrapped in foil for easy delivery and cleanup.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Source: Cooking Light, January 2001

1 3/4 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 pound ground round
1/2 cup bottled salsa
1 to 2 tablespoons bottled chipotle sauce (such as La Preferidia) or hot sauce
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pinto beans in zesty sauce (such as S&W), undrained
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and beef; cook 5 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in the salsa, chipotle sauce, beans, and tomatoes; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro. Spoon beef mixture into a 3-quart casserole.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup cilantro, milk, butter, and egg; stir until well-blended. Spoon the batter over beef mixture; spread evenly. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until golden.

CALORIES 329 (30% from fat); FAT 11g (sat 4.7g,mono 4.2g,poly 0.8g); IRON 4.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 64mg; CALCIUM 157mg; CARBOHYDRATE 41.7g; SODIUM 655mg; PROTEIN 16g; FIBER 5.8g

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(55) Hearty Beef and Tomato Stew

Brace face strikes again! I thought this would be soft enough, but I underestimated the joy of new braces! Soooooooooo, I didnt really eat this, which makes me sad! But my husband and daughter both sucked it down, so I’d say it was a hit. Not hard to make, just a little time consuming to get everything chopped. I’d make this again! (And sorry, no picture on this one…)

Hearty Beef and Tomato Stew

Source: Cooking Light, October 2006
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups stew and 1 tablespoon parsley)

The ingredient list may look lengthy, but this recipe involves mostly measuring and adding ingredients to the pot to simmer. To trim prep time, look for prechopped onions in the produce aisle. Serve with crusty slices of a baguette. A double-dose of lycopene comes with tomato paste and canned tomatoes.

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 pounds sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
4 cups cubed red potato (1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups sliced carrot
3/4 cup pinot noir or other spicy dry red wine
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 (16-ounce) package frozen pearl onions
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove beef from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings in pan. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add broth; bring to a boil. Return meat to pan. Add potato and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a simmer. Cover and cook 1 hour and 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Discard rosemary and bay leaf. Stir in salt and pepper. Top with parsley.

CALORIES 329 (21% from fat); FAT 7.5g (sat 2.6g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.4g); IRON 4.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 51mg; CALCIUM 93mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.3g; SODIUM 630mg; PROTEIN 31.1g; FIBER 4.1g

(50) Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner

I have never in my life cooked corned beef, but my husband requested it specifically, so how could I say no?! (Just so you know, my husband NEVER requests food. When I ask what he wants for dinner this week, he says ‘whatever!’… SO not helpful! LOL I always tell him they don’t sell packages of “whatever” at Publix!)

But I digress… This recipe was kind of a pain in the fact that there were too many pots and pans for my liking, but I really enjoyed the meal. The topping on the corned beef = awesome! The cabbage was really mild and the potatoes were nice and tangy – the perfect offset to the salty flavors! Once a year, I’ll suffer the dishes! Happy St. Patty’s Day a little early!

PS: I know I said I was making soda bread, but that just didn’t happen. Boo!

Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner

Source: Cooking Light, MARCH 2003
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces beef, about 1 1/2 cups cabbage, and about 1 1/3 cups potatoes)

1 (4-pound) cured corned beef brisket, trimmed
16 cups water
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 teaspoons pickling spice
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 (2 1/2-pound) head green cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch strips
4 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 (5-ounce) jar prepared horseradish, drained and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Place brisket in a large stockpot; add water and next 5 ingredients (water through garlic). Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours. Remove brisket from pot.

Place brisket on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Strain cooking liquid through a colander into 2 large bowls; discard solids. Return liquid to pot. Add caraway seeds and cabbage; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. Drain.

While cabbage is cooking, place potatoes in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to pan. Stir in parsley, butter, rind, juice, and pepper; toss to coat.

Preheat broiler.

Combine breadcrumbs and horseradish. Spread mustard over one side of brisket. Press breadcrumb mixture onto mustard. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve brisket with cabbage and potatoes.

CALORIES 321 (41% from fat); FAT 14.5g (sat 4.6g,mono 6.5g,poly 0.8g); IRON 4.3mg; CHOLESTEROL 86mg; CALCIUM 11mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.6g; SODIUM 927mg; PROTEIN 22.8g; FIBER 10g

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