Looks like we’re starting out 2021 much as we ended 2020. The pandemic is still why many of us are working, and cooking, at home.
The latest news is that we may be entering a super critical stage. So I’m limiting outings even more to keep myself, my family, and others safe.
That means few trips to the grocery, so for the next few weeks, I’m sharing more “best of” and previously shared recipes. Ones for which requests come in on a regular basis. To some of you the recipes will be familiar; to others they’ll be brand spanking new. I love that!
Where necessary, I’ll tweak the recipes to update and offer substitute ingredients to make it easier.
Interesting, too, how cooking and meal planning have brought more meaning to why we gather.
That’s not to say everything’s hunky dory here, or at your home. I don’t need to remind you of myriad daily challenges we all face.
Then again, woven into the day are what I call “life savors” – like the smile of little ones when I teach them to rub dry leafy herbs between their palms to release volatile oils. Or a neighbor’s kind words when food is dropped off. So look for those sun spots in your life, too.
My hope is that these recipes help you through another day of wondering what to cook.
Now here’s a thought: how about cataloging your favorites in a “cooking through the pandemic” cookbook?
Let’s start with stuffed bell pepper soup. Everything you like about stuffed bells, but easier.
Stuffed bell pepper soup
Go to taste here.
1 generous pound ground sirloin, or other ground beef (I used about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 largish chopped onion ( a good heaping cup or so)
2 bell peppers, diced – colored are nice
1 long rib celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 tablespoon or so minced garlic
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
Chili powder to taste – start with a tablespoon
6 cups beef broth or more as needed
14.5 oz. fire roasted or regular diced tomatoes
About 2 cups marinara or pasta sauce
Tamari or soy sauce to taste
1/2 cup rice, regular or instant
Shredded cheddar or favorite cheese
Pour a little olive oil in pot and brown beef a bit, then add onion, peppers, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables smell fragrant, a few minutes, then add everything else but rice and cheddar.
Bring to gentle boil and cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Lower to simmer, add rice, cover and cook until rice is done.
Add salt and pepper. Serve with cheese.
Sub in whole canned tomatoes for diced.
Smoosh before adding.
Chopped or diced: which is smaller?
Chopped vegetables are larger than diced.
Tamari vs soy
Both are from fermented soybeans.
Soy is the liquid pressed from soybeans, wheat, etc.
Tamari is often gluten free. (check label).
It’s liquid extracted from fermented miso paste, resulting in less salty, smoother, thicker condiment.