Friday, April 27, 2012

Deconstructed Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Today on the meal planner was Stuffed Peppers, but as I was driving home, I didn't want to wait an hour and a half for dinner. It was already getting late so I decided to make a deconstructed version of stuffed peppers.

To start off, you need 2-3 peppers. I used 2 huge peppers, but depending on pepper size and family size, you might want more. I sauteed them in oil and some garlic. I let mine cook for about 5-7 minutes. You want them to be nice and soft.
 I didn't take a picture of the next step because its pretty easy - add in some ground beef and cook the beef. Pretty simple! I also diced up a tomato and added it after the beef was cooked. When I make stupped peppers, I always use taco seasoning (1/2 a baggie). It adds good flavor and it convinced Andrew, who never liked stuffed peppers before, to be a fan. So, add it in while cooking the beef and tomatoes.
 Once your beef is cooked, pour about 2-3cups of tomato juice. It might seem like a lot at the time, but remember, the longer you let this simmer and cook, the more it will reduce.
Add cheddar cheese, about 1-2 cups (our family loves some cheese) and let simmer. I added the cheese before the juice, but really... either way works!

I let mine simmer for 15 minutes or so, as the mashed potatoes finished cooking and the table was set. Total hit! I loved it and Andrew said he enjoyed this way more than regular stuffed peppers.

Now, is it thrifty? Before adding, I would think NOT, but we will see. Remember, these prices are my local prices and what I bought the items for.
1 lb ground beef - $3.07
2 green peppers - $1
2-3 cups of tomato juice - $.50
1 tomato - $.25 approx
1/2 bag of taco seasoning - $.25
2 cups of cheddar cheese - $.25 (we buy in bulk)

Total cost - $5.32
Not bad! The cost of mashed potatoes is about $1 as I buy when on sale.
Notes - green peppers go on sale from $.50-$.67 here. They freeze great. Usually I slice then freeze for stir frys, fajitas, etc. This is the perfect opportunity to use up frozen green peppers.
The total for this meal is about $6.32, which is high for me as I strive for $5 dinners BUT it also provides leftovers for a full lunch for Andrew, so its a dinner and a lunch. Prices are going to vary place to place - I think we live in a lower cost of living area and I know our grocery prices are lower than the national average usually.

I hope you enjoy this. If you try it, be sure to let me know if your family enjoyed it as well as we did!

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