No, no. I haven’t given up on the blog that quickly. We just went away to my parents place for March Break. The ‘rents live in a picturesque little village nestled in the Laurentians. We tend to vacation there most of the time; it’s cheap, the kids love it, my parents love it and we love having a pair of babysitters on hand! It’s actually a great place for the kids at this age. This past week I took the boys skiing, tubing, to an indoor play place, to a kids’ museum and the sugar shack…all within 60 minutes of the house. In the summer there’s a surprising number of small kids’ amusement park places, the beach, water slides, etc. It’s a great destination and allows us to save up for an eventual money pit trip to someplace like Disney.
Because the best way to end a fantastic vacation is to celebrate with the stomach flu, that’s what my youngest has decided to throw (up) at us. So that means I still haven’t had a chance to figure out a meal plan for the week. It will have to be a day-to-day affair until things settle down. I’ve made a giant batch of rice for the sick kidlet and I found some bell peppers on sale at the veggie stand this morning, tonight’s feast will be a unstuffed bell pepper bake. I love this recipe because it has all the yumminess (and childhood memories!) of stuffed peppers without all the trouble they are to make. I always make double (or triple) batches and freeze the extra in casserole dishes; they I just need to thaw and reheat them in the oven.
Unstuffed Bell Pepper Bake
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 large bell peppers, chopped (about 2 cups worth)
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (because the kids don’t like lumps, I used a can of pureed tomatoes)
1 cup instant brown rice (you can use regular brown rice but pre-cook it and reduce your liquids a little. I’d recommend draining your canned tomatoes)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1.5 cups tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large sauce pan, cook beef at high heat ** Cooking ground meat at high heat allows it to brown nicely rather than “boil” in its juices… more flavour to be had! **
Drain excess fat, add onions, garlic and bell peppers. Cook until onions and peppers soften.
Stir in the tomatoes, rice, Worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning.
Remove from heat, and stir in half of the cheese. Spread mixture evenly into a deep baking dish and top with tomato sauce and remaining cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly. If freezing, add cheese, allow to cook and then freeze the casserole dish.