March 25, 2011

What's for dinner?

I try to be a frugal kinda gal.  I know the lowest prices on the items I buy regularly and try to stock up on them at the low price, so when the go "off" sale I don't pay the higher price.  Canned food, pastas, frozen veggies - you name it I stock pile it.

Meat is no exeption.  I buy ground beef (or turkey if the price is right) and chicken breasts when they go on special.  I have a super cool vacuum sealer (thanks to the in-laws) that helps package the food for an extra long freezer shelf life.

There is, however, a downside to that.  When the meat has been frozen for 3 months, it takes a little work getting it to thaw.  Most weekends I meal plan and move the required meat from the freezer to the fridge.  Typically this happens Saturday, and by Tuesday the meat is defrosted and ready to go.

The hitch is when I'm not home over the weekend, or things are too crazy to set my meal plan.

 Like this weekend.

Tuesday night we ate with my parents and meal planning was the furttherest thing from my mind.  Wednesday I used the ground beef I'd put in the fridge on Friday. 

Last night I was stumped.  By the time I got home and did my train wreck dancing workout DVD it was late.  I was sluggish and tired and didn't feel like cooking anything.  Jay was no help, so I just about settled on Ramen for the evening.  Ramen is my lazy "go to" meal.  Which wouldn't be bad, but we eat 2 packages (4 servings) each.  That's 760 calories for nothing but a big pile of noodles.

At the last minute I decided I wasn't going to feed my body crap.  I deserved better.  Jay deserved better.

I had a green and a red pepper in the freezer so I decided I was going to fix my favorite meatless meal: Italian Peppers and Rice.

Its a recipe that I pulled off my favorite recipe site that originally called for pork chops, but Jay isn't a big fan and said he's prefer to just save money and eat it meatless.  (Click the link for the original recipe.)

Then I had the brilliant idea to replace it with chick peas so that we would still have a protein source.

I've never tried it with the frozen pepper and onion blend that I stockpile, but I'm sure that would be yum also.

Jay thinks its a bit bland, so he adds teryiaki (don't ask, I have no idea) but I think its quite tasty.  I'm convinced that he's killed his taste buds with smokeless tobacco because if a food isn't spicy (think Mexican/Cajun) then he has to add season all or something to jazz it up.

Its definitely a good choice for a quick and easy meal!

For you foodies out there, what would you suggest to spice this dish up, while still staying in the same taste family? 


  1. It looks good! I think I would like the teriyaki too. How about adding some diced tomatoes and maybe some soy sauce and garlic?

  2. i love finding good meatless meals! this one sounds like a winner :)

  3. Looks yummy! We do meatless probably 5 nights a week...I'm not big on the stuff, and hubby eats what I put in front of him LOL.

  4. Don't think I'm crazy, but I agree with Jay's choice of teriyaki! That or soy sauce! My mister would absolutely never suggest I try something meatless, so kudos to him!

  5. I agree - some sort of stir fry sauce and garlic/ginger. I like to use siracha mixed with some soy.

    I like the flavor of this sauce and you could easily do the sauce without the pork.

  6. I looks good to me, I think a great way to add flavor and keep in the Italian them is to add some balsamic vinegar and some crushed red pepper flakes while the peppers are cooking.

    The vinegar adds sing and enriches the flavor and the red pepper adds flavor and heat.

    Happy cooking,


  7. looks yummy.
    i have been going meatless once a week and i have started to go twice a week (and a blog post this weekend actually)
    i am totally with you. i am all about stockpile and coupons.
    i totally use coups all the time, and the cashiers get annoyed, but o well!

  8. That looks so good!! I would love it, but the boys not so much. Hubs wouldn't even touch it, he doesn't like bell peppers and the boys only eat peppers if they are raw. So I really cant' complain. Lamar is a University. We really did have a great time and I can't wait to go back!


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