Friday, April 14, 2017

McGuyver Dinners- Unstuffed Peppers

Some of the funniest moments in my life took place in a townhouse in Johnston, where my best friend Ronda and I were starting new chapters in our lives. She was starting over in a new city, and I was starting over as newly single. Our friendship is a fun mix of eclectic things- some we have in common, some we couldn't be more opposite if we tried. I'd be lying if I said we didn't have a few cocktails over the time we lived there. We had a fully stocked bar!  Some of our crazy antics included driveway bowling, numerous Jager bombs, and driving through snowdrifts in my SUV. Let's just say this last antic was not so successful.

Anyway, lots of times two adult women looked at the contents of our pantry and bemoaned the selection. Not wanting to go to the store or order delivery, I was usually assigned the task of coming up with a dinner. Ronda would always say that I could take black pepper and an ice cube and come up with a three course meal so, like McGuyer and his crazy paper clip and rubber band saves he day storylines, we just started calling it McGuyver Dinner. I've made many many McGuyver Dinners over the years. It's really not that hard, since I've always got some basic ingredients on hand like some kind of pasta or grain. Making a sauce or gravy isn't too difficult if you keep canned soups, broth or soup bases, or even tomato products on hand. Throw a few things together and you've got a, hopefully, tasty dinner.

Today The Chef was going through our cabinets and came upon my grain stockpile. At any given time I have an assortment of eight or nine grains on hand- everything from rice to quinoa to millet to amaranth. I love trying the ancient grains and using them in recipes. The textures are so varied, the flavors so unique. Some grains, like farro and kamut, look similar to rice. Farro is a larger grain and takes longer to cook than rice. Kamut has a chewy texture and remains firmer than rice. After piling every bag and package of grain from my stash on the counter, I decided to go with the kamut. Kamut is a great source of fiber and protein too, and who doesn't want that? 

I had some bell peppers and mushrooms to use up, so I thought I'd got for an inside out stuffed pepper type dish using Sinful Food products. The Signature Seasoning is great for replacing the salt and pepper. I had just a little bit of garlic olive oil left so I used that and also used he jalapeno oil. It was perfect- the jalapeno added just the slightest bit of heat and another layer of fresh pepper flavor.  Here is my recipe- 

McGuyver Unstuffed Pepper Soup

3 bell peppers
1 large onion
8 oz package mushrooms
handful fresh garlic cloves
1 lb ground beef
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
2 cups uncooked kamut
6 cups beef broth
Sinful Food Signature Seasoning
Sinful Food garlic and jalapeno olive oils

Chop the bell peppers, onions and garlic. Heat a couple tablespoons of garlic olive oil and jalapeno olive oil in a LARGE stockpot. Add the chopped vegetables and season. Cook over medium high heat until softened. Remove from the pot.

Add the ground beef to the pot and break up. Cook until browned and cooked through. Drain any accumulated fat. Return the vegetables to the pot and add all remaining ingredients. 

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, about an hour until the kamut is tender.

The kamut will not be as soft as rice. It retains it's chewy texture, which I loved. I originally intended this to be more of a casserole-type dish but instead we ended up with a pot of a delicious and hearty soup. I was happy with the result. Kitchen disaster averted!! 

To get your own Sinful Food olive oils and seasonings, click HERE.

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