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Summer’s bounty means being creative with all of the extra produce, like bell peppers

POSTED: August 3, 2011 1:30 a.m.
MICHELLE BOAEN JAMESON/The Times

These fresh home-grown bell peppers were in immediate need of use. A modified recipe for stuffed bell peppers was just the thing to use up several of the vegetables at once. The final product was a tasty, rice, cheese and beef-filled pepper.

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So you’ve canned, dried, frozen and given away as much as you could from the summer garden, but you still have veggies on the vine.

Sliced tomatoes and cucumbers can go only so far on the dinner table. Creamed corn? It’s coming out of your ears. And okra doesn’t go over well with the kids. Now what?

I had just this problem with an abundance of bell peppers.

After dicing and slicing for later use in fajitas, stir-fry and other dishes, I still had bell peppers aplenty. And there is nothing I hate more than letting summer’s hard work go to waste on the kitchen counter.

Time to get creative.

An easy way to use several whole peppers at once? Stuff them. Those that aren’t eaten right away can be frozen for later meals; just be sure to use an airtight container to avoid freezer burn.

After scouring a few cookbooks and online recipes, a modified version of stuffed bell peppers — using the ingredients I had on hand — was achieved.

In this case, I already had ground beef seasoned and cooked in the form of leftover sliders from the night before. What better way to use leftovers?

I discarded the soggy buns and crumbled the burger patties to almost 1½ cups of ground beef.

Canned tomatoes, check. Rice, check. Cheese, check. The prep time on this dish is minimal, with cooking of the rice (unless you have leftover rice already) and coring of the peppers taking about 20 minutes total.

I even had a little extra stuffing that my husband was glad to polish off. In the end: A dish worth keeping handy.



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