Monday, May 31, 2010

Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

I found this recipe a few weeks ago on foodgawker. That website is kind of addicting, and it's really hard scroll through it for a while without getting hungry. (It's a food website in which you browse through pictures to find recipes. mmm) We like the regular Italian version of stuffed bell peppers, but this healthy alternative is really good for a change.

Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

Homemade by Holman
Serves 4

1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup black beans
1 cup corn
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes with chiles (Ro-tel)
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
4 bell peppers
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, cook rice with water as directed on package. (Note: Brown rice takes about 40 minutes to cook. If you are short on time, you can use white rice or Uncle Ben's quick brown rice.) Meanwhile, brown turkey in a large skillet over medium high heat, crumbling as it cooks. Add 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/4 tsp chili powder. After about 5 minutes, add Ro-tel, and reduce heat to medium low. Add onions, black beans, and corn, and simmer until rice is cooked.

Meanwhile, prepare peppers by cutting in half through the top, remove stem, seeds and ribs. (This will make 8 bell pepper halves.) Rinse and set in a large baking dish. When liquid has cooked off rice, add 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp chili powder and fluff with a fork. Stir into turkey mixture. Squeeze juice of half of lime over the mixture and add half the cilantro. Spoon filling into pepper halves. Add a couple tablespoons of water to pan, cover the pan with foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Uncover, peppers should be softened. Sprinkle on cheese and return to oven for about another 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with remaining cilantro and sour cream, if desired.

Target: Free or Cheap Armor All Products

Today I was thinking that I needed to go and buy some Armor All interior protectant. (**You can't use the $3/2 coupon on the smaller protectant, but you can use the $2 facebook coupon. $0.39 is still really cheap!) I have always used my dad's, so I wasn't sure how much it was going to cost. I just saw on MyFrugalAdventures that you can get it for free at Target!

Here are the prices of the Armor All products at Target:

Armor All Original Interior Protectant $2.39
Armor All Glass Cleaner $2.69
Armor All Car Wash Concentrate $3.49
Armor All Wipes $4.24
Armor All Upholstery Cleaner $4.24
Armor All Wheel Protectant $6.00

Use the $3/2 Armor All Target coupon along with the $2/1 Armor All manufacturer’s coupon to get free or almost-free Armor All products at Target.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No Coupon Inserts this Sunday

Since it is Memorial Day weekend, there will be no coupon inserts. (Every week I check Sunday Coupon Preview so I know what to expect in the paper.) College Station sometimes gets the short end of the stick when it comes to coupons. A couple weekends this semester I didn't get a Smart Source insert or P&G insert. Not cool. I think I might just buy a paper on my way to or from church this summer rather than order them. That way I can look at through the paper before I purchase it to make sure everything is in there. Although I love coupons, I sometimes enjoy these weekends. Enjoy your Monday off!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Indian Basmati Rice

About a year ago, if you would have asked me what I knew about rice, I would probably just look at you, confused, and say, there are different kinds of rice...? Isn't all rice the same? No. I've come to realize it is not at all the same. I just learned a couple weeks ago that it takes 40 minutes to cook brown rice. Seriously? That takes for-e-ver. I still have not cooked with arborio rice (to make risotto), but I do know a little more now. In my pantry I have brown, basmati, cous cous (does that count?), jasmine (long grain), and medium grain (japanese) rice.

I have been trying to perfect the fried rice that they make at the Hibachi Japanese restaurants. I bought the rice they use, Kokuho (medium grain), and use all of the same ingredients... but it's not the same. I talked to the manager of HB in Houston, and he said even they can't cook it the same at home because they don't have those 500 degree cooking surfaces. Bummer. I then asked my Asian friends, and they went crazy on me when I told them I used medium and not long grain, jasmine rice. That is when I learned that Chinese people cook with long grain (jasmine) rice, and Japanese people cook with medium grain rice. The only difference to me really is that medium grain is stickier, but apparently there is much more of a difference than that. When you search on the web, every recipe I've seen uses jasmine rice, so don't waste your time and go buy medium grain rice. Jasmine is just fine.

Anyway... My friend, Bhavini, got me excited about cooking Indian food. Her recipes are delicious, but she lives in Dallas and goes to med school, so recently I've had to find recipes on my own. Some were good, but many were flops. I found this recipe of Basmati Rice, and it is pretty close to the kind they serve at Indian restaurants. Yes, you do need to buy basmati rice. It is completely different than any other grain. It is longer, but nothing like the long grain rice we buy at the grocery store. Basmati rice is really expensive at Kroger/HEB. I got mine at an Indian store in Houston. I think I got like 10 lbs for $15, but I got the good stuff. Also, if you ever do intend on making Asian or Indian food, you will save a lot of money going to an Asian or Indian store. I bought all of my Indian spices in a store in Dallas, spent about $10, and I don't think I will ever run out.

The only thing that might be missing is minced cilantro. I haven't tried it with cilantro yet, though. I'll let you know!

Indian Style Basmati Rice
Adapted from
Serves 6

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 pods green cardamom
4 whole cloves
1 1/2 tsp cumin seed
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 1/2 cups water
1 small onion, thinly sliced

1. Place rice into a bowl with enough water to cover. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes. (Do not over soak or the rice will turn into mush when boiled.)

2. Heat the oil in a large pot or saucepan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and cumin seed. Cook and stir for about a minute, then add the onion to the pot. Saute the onion until a rich golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drain the water from the rice, and stir into the pot. Cook and stir the rice for a few minutes, until lightly toasted. Add salt and water to the pot, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.

Steamy Kitchen

I made both of these recipes a couple weeks ago. Her recipes give you a lot of confidence making authentic asian food in the kitchen. I've made four of her recipes, and all of them are very easy and taste like take-out food. Plus, ingredients at asian markets are crazy cheap. I'm not sure how much I'll be making this in the future since it's not so healthy, but it sure was good. (These pictures are from Jaden's website.)

Garlic Scallion Noodles

Pecan Crusted Tilapia with Honey Glaze

Make $4 buying Gillette body wash at CVS

Gillette Body Wash, $4, Earn $4 in ECBs wyb 1 (Limit 2)
Buy 2 at $4 each
-Use one B1G1 Gillette Body Wash PG 5/02
=$4, get back $8 ECB ($4 profit!)

See other CVS deals here and here.