Thursday, September 13, 2012

Unstuffed Peppers

1 lb ground beef, sausage, or a mixture of the two
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, or 2 to 3 large fresh tomatoes, diced
1 diced bell pepper, any color, but red and yellow are best (about a cup)
1 large zucchini, diced (about 1 pound)
2 T chili powder
1-1/2 t ground cumin
1 t oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat in a large skillet. When it’s about half done, add the onion and garlic and cook until the meat is browned. Add everything else and cook over medium heat until all of the veggies are done and the mixture is getting dry, about 20 minutes or so. I always end up with some extra liquid in the pan, which I save in the freezer to use the next time I make vegetable beef soup.

Using Kroger’s ground beef, and veggies from the Farmers Market, this would cost about $4.00, or $1.00 per serving for four servings. A big zucchini is usually 75 cents, and sometimes the bigger ones are actually cheaper than the smaller ones. Because the veggies all cook together, the big zucchinis work just as well as smaller ones and are cheaper. I usually get large but oddly shaped red and yellow bell peppers for 50 cents each at one of the stalls. And “ugly” tomatoes, or seconds, for half price at another stall. Coleslaw would be good with this, or a green salad. Or use this to make a Taco Salad, by putting it on a bed of lettuce and adding some grated cheddar and a dollop of sour cream, with maybe a bit of diced fresh tomato. Any of these menus should cost less than $1.50 per person.

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