4 to 6 large bell peppers, cleaned and cored (toss the tops or save for salad or soup)
2 cups prepared rice (brown or white)
1 lb ground beef
1 large jar of your favorite marinara or spaghetti sauce*
1 small onion, finely diced (optional)
1 small jar diced mushrooms (optional)
1. Mix prepared rice and raw ground beef together in a bowl. Add onions & mushrooms.
2. Stuff each hollow bell pepper with this mixture, filling to the top.
3. Line prepared peppers in crockpot in rows, touching each other.
4. Pour jar of sauce over peppers, covering completely.
5. Cook on LOW for around 6 or 7 hours (until beef is done and peppers are tender).
*You can use 2 large cans of tomato sauce, 1 tbsp. minced garlic, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp oregano, pinch of fresh basil instead of the jar pasta sauce if you choose.
Grilled Cajun Lemon Shrimp
1 lb jumbo or colossal shrimp, raw (shelled and deveined)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper*
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and black pepper to taste
1. Shell and devein shrimp (it is much easier than it sounds if you have never tried it)
2. Squeeze the juice of one lemon onto shrimp in a bowl or zipper lock bag.
3. Let shrimp soak in lemon juice for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Rinse shrimp thoroughly in cool water. Coat with olive oil. Slide shrimp onto skewers.**
5. Coat shrimp evenly with cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
6. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side (until “grayness” of shrimp is replaced by pink/white).
7. Serve while hot. (I chose to serve alongside a green salad and a grilled rib eye.)
*(you can “cheat” and omit the dry seasonings for your favorite brand of Cajun seasoning salt)
**If using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them in water for at least 10 minutes prior to grilling.
Crispy Baked Chicken
6 to 8 pieces of chicken, any type
3/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup instant potato flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
red pepper flakes, to taste
1. Mix all dry ingredients in a paper bag, a zipper lock bag, or an old bread bag.
2. Add chicken one piece at a time. Shake to coat.
3. Place chicken on foil-covered cookie sheet (that has been sprayed with cooking spray).
4. Bake chicken in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for around 30 minutes (until deep golden brown and juices run clear when pierced).*
*wings usually cook within 25 minutes or so. Boneless, skinless breasts usually cook between 35 to 40 minutes.
Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 cup sugar
1 large or jumbo egg
1. Mix the three ingredients together.
2. Spoon onto greased non-stick cookie sheet or parchment paper
3. Lightly press with your fingers or a fork.
4. Cook in a 325 degree pre-heated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until cookies barely start to look “dry” with a slightly moist center (for soft bake cookies) or bake 12 to 14 minutes until fully dry for crunchy cookies (being careful not to burn edges or bottoms of cookies).