Leftovers? There’s a solution.

Lately, I have been making a conscientious effort to limit eating out at restaurants and to start eating healthy. Even though, I have a busy schedule and a tight budget, there is no doubt that I have found ways to eat great food that is healthy and budget friendly.

Last week, I made an awesome stuffed peppers dish that used lean ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. The meat had an amazing flavor, and since there was more meat than peppers, enter leftovers. As I was racking my mind on what I would do to utilize the meat, one recipe came into mind: Sloppy Joes.

With the leftover meat, I added some Elmer’s “It be bad” barbecue sauce. Tribe guy’s Mom brought me a bottle of this sauce during Easter, and it was awesome, since it added a sweet and spicy kick.

Overall, I thought this is one way to create a new spin on leftovers.

Stuffed Peppers

4 Red or Green Bell Peppers
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1 can of diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 pkg. of instant cooked rice (like Uncle Ben’s microwaveable rice)
1 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
1 tsp. Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the top off the peppers and remove the seeds, discard.

In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp. Olive oil with minced onion and garlic. After the onions and garlic begin to soften, add ground beef. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika. Once the meat is brown, add tomatoes and rice.

In a 13 x 9 baking dish, make sure that the peppers are facing up and fill with meat filling. Top each filled pepper with a slice of smoked mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

When finished, remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes, serve immediately.

Sloppy Joes

With leftover ground meat mixture, warm it in skillet. Once meat is reheated, add 1/2 – 3/4 C. Barbecue sauce of your choice. Heat until bubbling. Serve with sandwich buns or Texas Toast.

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It’s Summertime in the city…

Since I have been on vacation or busy with work, I have not had time to update Charm Offensive Cooking.  However, I am planning to add more throughout the week.

My boyfriend came over to my apartment, and we cooked dinner together.   We had bratwurst, blackberries, yellow and orange peppers to use, so we decided to make a german-style feast of sorts.  First, I made a blackberry crisp, which was amazing served with vanilla ice cream.  While the crisp was baking, I helped my boyfriend with dicing up some peppers, onions, leeks, and peppers for the brats and potato dish.  First, we sliced the yellow and orange peppers in thin slices and diced the leeks.  This was going to be sauteed with butter, ground mustard, and a sea salt mixture with smoked paprika and fresh ground pepper.  Then, I sliced the onions and potatoes in small slices.  I added this to butter for frying.  After a bit, I added some dill, bacon bits, celery salt, fresh ground pepper and some sea salt.

While the veggie dishes were cooking, I removed the blackberry crisp and set up another pan for the bratwurst.  Next up were the bratwursts.  The brats were poached with a bock style beer and a special ingredient, which might not seem so complimentary….sweet pickle juice.   Once the brats were finished, the sauce in the pan was too good not to write about.  This sauce was a beer-amel (a caramel that tasted like a sweet beer).  It went beautifully with the brats.

Overall, the menu was great and it just complemented the relaxing weekend.

The brats were taking a beauty bath in the bock/pickle juice mixture.

Brats in Beer

a package of bratwurst

1 bottle of bock style beer

1/3 c. sweet pickle juice

Poach the brats in beer and pickle juice mixture.  Do this until the brats are done and the sauce is a thick consistency.  Serve the brats with the sauce immediately.

The potatoes were awesome..bacon makes everything taste better

Who thinks vinegar and mayo-based potato salads are overrated Salad

4 Red potatoes, thinly sliced

1 vidalia onion, thickly sliced

2 tsp. dill

4 tbsp. butter

1/4 c. bacon bits

2 tsp. celery salt

freshly ground sea salt and pepper

In a saute pan, melt butter.  Add potatoes and onions.  Saute for a while, then add dill, celery salt, sea salt, pepper.  Cook until potatoes are fork tender.  Serve immediately.

Brats are not awesome without peppers and onions.

Awesome Sauteed Peppers and Leeks

1 leek, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp. ground mustard

2 tbsp. bock style beer

1/2 tsp. sea salt/smoked paprika mixture (like Penzey’s Smoky 4S seasoning)

freshly ground pepper

3 tbsp. butter

In a saute pan, melt butter, then add peppers and leeks.  Cook until peppers start breaking down, then add pepper, sea salt/paprika mixture, ground mustard, and beer.  Once the peppers and onions are tender and broken down, serve with the brats.

Last but not least, I am star of the show...dessert

Blackberry crisp was the perfect way to end the meal.  Of course, I had to share this recipe on Crystal Clear Conservative, since we all know dessert is the best part of any meal.