We’re going to be doing to a small group Bible study every Monday night, so I thought I’d make a crock pot meal on those days to make supper time a little easier. On Tuesdays I’ll share Monday’s recipe and a crock pot tip!

We’re not vegetarians, but having a few vegetarian meals every now and then is both healthy for our bodies and our wallets! Today I’m sharing an economical, easy and yummy vegetarian recipe: Stuffed Peppers.

Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers – You can use whatever color you want, but I find green ones are almost always the cheapest.
  • 1 1/4 cup cooked rice – I used brown, but white works fine too.
  • 3/4 cup black beans – You could do it with other kinds of beans or you could even use cooked hamburger meat.
  • 3/4 cup of tomato sauce – I kinda forgot to buy tomato sauce, so I looked online for substitutions, and ended up making tomato sauce by mixing tomato paste and water.
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • Seasonings: I used salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, creole seasoning salt and oregano, but you could of course do whatever seasonings you like!
  • Cheddar cheese to top with

Mix all the ingredients except the peppers and cheddar cheese.

Wash your peppers, cut off the tops and take the seeds out.

Now stuff your peppers with the stuffing.

Put the peppers in your crock pot and put a little water in the bottom of the crock. Cook the peppers on low for about 6 hours. UPDATE: A couple of people have mentioned that these turn out very soft. If you like your peppers a little firmer, then try a shorter cooking time. Before serving sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top.

Crock Pot Tip: If your lid breaks (like mine did), you might be able to just use a lid from a regular pot. I have one that’s the same size. It doesn’t seem to seal as good as the original lid, but it works until I can get a new one. You might be able to find a used lid to replace it with. I saw a crock pot and lid that were just like mine at Goodwill and asked if I could just buy the lid, they said no, but I figured it didn’t hurt to ask.

If you have any crock pot tips or recipes (especially cheap and healthy ones), I’d love to hear them! Just leave a comment or email me at purposelyfrugal(at)hotmail(dot)com!

 

 

 

My Chicken is Ready to Be Cooked

Of course there’s many ways to use a whole chicken, oven roasting, cuting it up to use the various parts in different ways, but here’s how I have started cooking my chickens. I got the basic recipe (I varied it a little) from my Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook. It’s easy and you get broth from it too. Around here whole chickens usually run at about 88 cents a pound, but my last 2 I got for 79 cents a pound at Sams Club (reduced for quick sale).

So here’s how I do it:

  1. Open the package and drain off any liquid. Then just plop the chicken in your crockpot. (note: depending on the size of your crockpot you may need to only buy smaller chickens, mine ususally just barely fit)
  2. Wash and cut up some onion, carrots and celery (don’t forget to throw the celery leaves in too). Add them to the crockpot along with any seasonings you think would be good. I usually just add salt pepper and maybe a bay leaf.
  3. Fill the remaineder of the crock pot with water. Turn it on high or low (low cook 8-10 hours, high 5-8).
  4. Once it has cooked long enough and looks cooked through, take it out and let it cool a few minutes on a plate, so you can handle it.
  5. Now you need to seperate the good chicken from the throw away¬† parts (skin, bones, etc…). It comes off the bone super easy!
  6. Your chicken is done and now all you have to do is strain out the brothand you have chicken broth. I like to freeze the chicken and broth in baggies until I need them.

    Straining My Broth

The last chicken I did made about 5 cups shredded chicken and honestly I can’t remember how much broth, I think 3-5 cups.

Here’s a few random tips:

  • To waste less, save the chicken skin for your cat or dog.
  • This is a great way to use those veggies that are too limp to be yummy raw.
  • You can cook the chicken in a pot on the stove, it will go faster.
  • To make the broth less fattening, let it cool in the fridge until a yellow layer forms on the top (that’s the fat) and remove it. But honestly I never do this, I think the fat adds flavor.
  • You can use this shredded chicken in so many ways, but my favorite are quesadillas, sandwhiches and chicken tortilla soup.
  • My favorite ways to use the broth are to cook rice in it to add flavor or in chicken tortilla soup (can you tell that’s my favorite soup?)

The Shredded Chicken

Sorry all the pictures are blurry! I didn’t notice the blurriness until I loaded them onto the computer today.

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