Friday Night Fun : Stuffed Bell Peppers and Spicy Chicken

What does your Friday nights consist of? Lately, mine seem to be laundry and cooking night, and catching up on missed TV episodes. Although I’m not in bed by 9 with the lights out, I still feel like an old granny.

You know when you get a Monday off (holiday or other reasons), then you’re confused as to what day it is for the rest of the week? Well I’ve been like that all week. I can’t believe it’s Friday, it came too fast! Not that I mind, but I could have looked forward to another day… it feels rushed… Oh I don’t know, I’m tired! Don’t judge!

For the past few days, I’ve been reading blogs and cookbooks looking for some inspiration. Not that I don’t have any, but all the meals I want to try from my new cookbooks serve 4 to 6… When living alone and being a hermit, why go to the troubles of making such a large meal for just one person… I’d be happy to eat a can of tuna (which I do)… I do admit, I love to cook because I like getting feedback from people and trying new things out, with others… Eventually, I will have more friends than Mme Treadmill and Mr. Free Weights… As a side note, if every you haven’t watched Miranda, which is a hilarious British TV mini-series, I highly suggest it. I may not be as socially awkward as Miranda, but I do identify to living alone…sometimes… Such fun!

Ok, so foodwise. This week’s two big dishes were my Stuffed Peppers and tonight’s Super Spicy Chicken thighs.

Stuffed Peppers… something that my Nonna used to make often, but she would let her peppers cook for so long that they would become mush and well, didn’t hold much together. Stuffing was delicious, super messy. A friend of mine also suggested a great blog and recipe to try … click here for the link… The pictures look amazing too!

I decided to make these but realized I had half of what she called for, so I subbed a ton of stuff for what I had. And they turned out pretty great!

You will need

  • 2 bell peppers (colour of your choice), tops cut off and hollowed out
  • ground beef (lean or extra lean, 1 package will easily stuff 4 peppers)
  • crushed canned tomatoes OR tomato paste (the tiny cans)
  • onion
  • spices
  • 1/2 can to 1 can of beans (of your choice)
  • veggies
  • basmati rice (3/4 cup dry)

Preheat your oven at 350 degrees

First, brown your beef (you could also used ground turkey as the other blog suggested) with the onions until no pink left. Then add your veg, beans, spices and sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.

Second, while your beef is cooking, cook your rice.

Third, once beef and rice are cooked, put in a layer of rice in the bottom of your peppers, then fill it up with your beef sauce. You can now sprinkle on some cheese if you want, or wait until the end…I did it twice 😉

Before

By now, your oven will be nice and hot, so pop the peppers on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, or place them in a Pyrex  dish, and slide them in the oven for a good 30 minutes. The longer you leave them in, the more your peppers will soften. I left mine in for 25 minutes and they were still a tiny crunchy, just how I like them. You can then sprinkle on some cheese and put them under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

You can garnish them with whatever you want and add hot sauce and what not! They were delicious! I had one for lunch and one for dinner and A TON of sauce left over for other nights. I highly suggest serving these with a salad or some other vegetables… Alone they are not necessarily enough.

After

 

As for tonight’s dish, it was my mom’s Super Spicy Chicken Thighs… and I just realized that I forgot to add something to them when I made the marinade… Oh well, they were still delicious!

You will need

  • package of chicken thighs (mine had 6)
  • 1/2 cup Srirracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of chili or cayenne
  • juice of 1 lime
  • fresh ginger (about 1 tbsp.), or a dash or powdered ginger
  • dash of garlic powder
  • fresh or dried coriander

*** Instead of using 1 tbsp. of chili/cayenne, I did 1 tsp. and a bit of both

If your chicken thighs are frozen, thaw them out. If not, you’re ready to rock and roll!

My mom usually marinades her thighs (not her own, the chicken’s) over night, but I didn’t have the time/they didn’t thaw out in time for me to do so last night, so I did it right before cooking them. There is a really big difference when you do so, so I HIGHLY SUGGEST TO MARINADE THEM FOR 24H.

Mix up all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl and add the chicken, and toss it up! Make sure that those thighs are well coated. Line a baking sheet with foil, place a grilling rack over that, put your chicken on the rack and roast it in the oven. Or, if you’re like me and don’t own a rack, or find its a pain in the arse to clean it, just plop your chicken onto the foil.

Cook until internal temperature is at 165 degrees F. I’m a little paranoid when it comes to properly cooking chicken and fish. I was told too many times that I would get deathly sick if I didn’t so I’m really paranoid about this…and I’m also a little bit of a hypochondriac, so it might explain…

Anyways, had the chicken with some pan fried zucchini slices and sliced grape tomatoes and onions and a bit of brown rice.. Super good!

Super Spicy Chicken Thighs with Zucchini and Grape Tomatoes

 

Oh. I also made some of my Banana Muffins (see post #2)… added some Vega Dutch Chocolate Protein Powder for a little protein boost… They aren’t as delicious as my first batch, but that’s only because of the protein powder…

 

Must do dishes, I’ll post something else soon!!

Such Fun!

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