Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Refrigerator Diving!

Do you ever have one of those days when you get to stay home all day wearing comfortable clothes, hair pulled back and a perfectly clean face?  They are gift days to be enjoyed thoroughly.  I get to listen to whatever music suits my mood and do whatever long neglected chore needs to be done, or do nothing al all if that's what suits me.

Son2 is visiting for a while and in the midst of savoring the day  I thought about dinner for 3.  The Hub is fine with a bowl of Campbell's soup as a punt meal but it's nicer if you have a guest ( even one you birthed) to have something somewhat decent as a meal.  A quick look through the refrigerator didn't help much.  I had a few vegetables, about 1/2 pound of ground beef and some odd leftover bits from previous meals.  I guess I could have changed clothes, fixed the hair and put on a dash of makeup and run to the store for something but I just didn't want to. ( Oh to be one of the beautiful people who can pull off "natural" without scaring small children and domestic animals!)

So the challenge was on.  Make something tasty out of virtually nothing using only what was on hand. 
(1 1/4 cup of leftover brown rice, about 5 tablespoons of cooked pinto beans, 1/2 cup corn, part of an onion, half a jar of salsa, 1/2 pound ground beef, 2 carrots 3 medium bell peppers, 1/2 head of lettuce, 1 tomato and 2 scallions.

I made a quick simple salad with the lettuce, scallions and tomato and set it aside. The rest became __

                                               Southwest Stuffed Baked Peppers

3 small to medium bell peppers, tops cut off, seeded and cored
1/2 pound ground beef
1 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup pinto beans
1/2 cup corn
2 carrots grated 
1 small onion chopped finely ( or 1/2 huge leftover onion)
1/4 cup salsa
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Put the bell peppers upright in a small greased baking pan.  Mix all the remaining ingredients together and stuff it inside the pepper cavities.  Bake at 350 degrees until the peppers are tender but not wilted ( about 30 - 40 minutes)  Before serving warm any remaining salsa and spoon it over the top of the peppers.

They smelled fantastic while they were cooking and the flavor was so good.  There was enough beef so you could taste it and it had a nice mouth "feel".  The beans and corn were great texture compliments .  If I had used only the rice it would have been too mushy.  The onion provided additional flavor and the carrots were there just to take up some much needed space.  I would pretend I added them for the nutrient value, but they were really just filler since I had so little beef. ( Squash, sweet potatoes, zucchini etc would work equally well to stretch the amount).  I thought about it after the fact, but a little grated pepper jack cheese would have been outstanding in the mixture.  I am always a day late with ideas.

The Hub liked this so much he even asked that we do it again.  Not  bad to have something from virtually nothing turn out well.  Try refrigerator diving.  There is no telling what delicious concoction you might create!

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