Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bell pepper for Unstuffed Pepper Bake goes in and not around the healthy insides

We’ve spent so many of our gardening years exulting in the arrival of our green Bell peppers so we can make stuffed peppers, I never thought of exulting in the lack of them.

Yet in this interim between the time we’ve run out of the chopped, frozen ones that we put away last fall and the time we’re waiting for the summer crop to arrive, I found a dandy recipe that capitalizes on the (made-healthy) stuffing and makes the green part nonessential.

Thanks to the periodic Kroger grocery circular for being the source for this delightful meal. After browning ground beef (we substitute ground turkey, of course) and onion, the recipe adds 1 1/2 cups diced yellow and red Bell peppers, so Bell peppers actually are stirred into the recipe rather than being the outside container for the stuffing.

Tomatoes, instant white or brown rice, seasonings, and cheddar cheese are added; the mixture is spread into a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish, to be topped with tomato sauce and the remaining cheese. Cooking time in the oven is only 20 minutes (compared to one hour with traditional stuffed peppers); the mixture stands 5 minutes before serving.

Instead of piling everything into the large 13-by-9 glass dish, I divided mine into a 11-inch-by-7-inch pan and then a small casserole, so I could save the small portion for a later dinner. The Kroger circular billed this dish as kid-friendly and a good way for parents to sneak bunches of healthy peppers past the unsuspecting. The grownup kid at my house (about to celebrate his 65, remember?) was pretty fond of it, too.

Unstuffed Pepper Bake

1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/3 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cups diced red and yellow Bell peppers (about 1 1/2 peppers)
2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (no-salt-added), drained
1 1/2 cups instant white or brown rice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 (8-ounce) package shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté ground turkey, onions, peppers, and garlic for 10 minutes or until beef is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain off excess fat and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup cheese. Spread mixture evenly into prepared 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish; top with tomato sauce and remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until dish is heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Serves 4-6.

1 comment:

  1. Kay,How long did you reheat it in over after storing leftovers I am making day ahead to bring to a gathering. I have made this a few times and it is YUMMY!