I am terrible about using up food in our refrigerator, but I am trying to be better. I menu plan several days at a time, but it never fails that I have left over ingredients that end up in the trash can. Not only is this wasteful of good food, but it is also unnecessarily expensive. I’ve been cleaning out our fridge on a weekly basis when I menu plan so that I can see what ingredients I should include in the upcoming week’s meals. Certain ingredients obviously keep a long time in the fridge, but if I have leftover parsley, I can be sure to use it up in the next couple of days. I call it the Fridge Challenge. This is also a good way to see what I’m buying that we are not eating. For instance, I always seem to have a giant bag of baby carrots in the fridge. Untouched. I KNOW carrots make a great snack, but I never seem to CHOOSE carrots for my snack. So, on my menu this week is homemade hummus. Maybe then I’ll eat those carrots. (Or, at least, they’ll make a colorful spoon! 😉 )
Today’s recipe is a great way to use up leftovers. You could use so many different ingredients to make your own custom recipe. This is actually one of hubby’s favorite dinners. He knows they are easy and cheap, so whenever I ask him for ideas to fill in during menu planning, he picks this one often. Another reason I love this recipe is that it cooks in the crock pot but only for a couple of hours. This is very easy to throw together at the last minute.
Last week, I made my fabulous black bean chili. Now, I’m not kidding when I say that this recipe makes a ton. We ate it for lunch and dinner for a couple days, and I froze a couple pints for future use, and I STILL had some leftover. So, I decided to use up those leftovers in some stuffed peppers. Chili really makes a great leftover; there are so many ways you can use it! I mixed it with some rice and tomatoes, and voilá! Yummy dinner! Don’t forget your favorite chili toppings! We topped ours with Greek yogurt. 🙂
- 4 green peppers, tops and seeds removed
- 1 1/2 cup leftover chili (Use black bean chili for meatless!)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
- Combine the chili, rice, and tomatoes. Scoop into the prepared green peppers. Place in the crockpot, making sure that the peppers stay upright. Cook on high for 2 hours. (If you like your peppers softer, cook for longer.)
- Look for green peppers with flat bottoms. This will ensure that the peppers stay level in the crock pot 😉
- Also, when cutting off the tops of the peppers. I like to insert the knife perpendicular to the top and cut in a circle around the stem. This will also cut off most of the ribs of the pepper inside making clean out very easy!