Hi. Annie Jones here, making a guest appearance from my blog Real Life Living. For those who aren't familiar with my blog, it's all about living simply, stretching a dollar and trying to get out of debt. It's also all about gutting and remodeling our only bathroom without ever losing the ability to flush. But mostly, it's about food.
Yesterday, I put together a dish that I knew would be perfect for Not Just Leftovers - Brand New Meals. Using the art of gentle persuasion and a little ESP, I convinced Janelle to let me guest post here.
Let me start at the beginning. On Sunday, I made this recipe for Sicilian Meat Roll. It was yummy and we ate all but three slices of it. My husband Shane is a big eater. I knew there was no way three slices of meat roll would make another meal for us, so I chopped those slices into small bits and tossed them into a bowl.
I found some cooked rice in the freezer, a smidgen of corn in the fridge, and a little bit of shredded cheese. I tossed those into the bowl with the meat roll and stirred in some pasta sauce. I stuffed this filling into a couple of bell peppers that weren't being saved for anything else and made a brand new meal! I had to open a new jar of pasta sauce (because I couldn't find anything "tomato-y" in the fridge except ketchup), but everything else was more or less left over from previous meals.
In addition to being thrifty, this dish is also versatile. I went with Italian flavors (except for the cheese, which was a colby-jack blend), but it could easily be adapted to Mexican flavors by using salsa instead of pasta sauce.
These stuffed peppers turned out great. We especially liked the sweeter, riper orange ones. I couldn't get our granddaughter Kat to try one, but that wasn't a problem. It just meant there was more for us!
Annie's "Leftover" Stuffed Bell Peppers
1-1/4 cups chopped leftover meatloaf
1-1/2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup cooked corn
1/2 cup shredded cheese, any kind
1/2 cup pasta sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2 large bell peppers, halved top to bottom, seeds removed and par-cooked
additional pasta sauce for topping
additional shredded cheese for topping
Combine meatloaf, rice, corn cheese, pasta sauce, salt and pepper in large bowl. Set aside.
Place cleaned pepper halves in shallow microwave-safe dish, cut side up. Add 1/2 cup water to dish. Place dish in microwave and cover with inverted large microwave-safe bowl to form lid. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and carefully drain any liquid from peppers.
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray casserole dish with pan spray. Fill pepper halves with filling and arrange in dish (I cut them from top to bottom so they will sit better in the pan). If there is extra filling, place it in the bottom of the casserole dish first, then rest the pepper halves on top of the filling. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Remove casserole from oven. Remove foil, then spoon on additional pasta sauce and cheese. Return to oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
Makes 2-4 servings.