Recipe: Zucchini Torpedoes

Zucchini TorpedoesWith just a little bit of time management, this main dish is easily put together with the rest of the meal for a total prep and cook time of thirty to forty-five minutes. My wife initially found a recipe for filling and baking zucchini in some “weekly recipe” magazine insert. I used it to get the cooking temp and times for the zucchini. The meat mixture is completely mine. Improvise it as you desire. I think the first time I made it, I used 1 lb. ground beef.
The Ingredients

zucchini (cut in half lengthwise and seeded)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 lb. ground chicken
onion, minced (I used half of a not-quite-large yellow)
garlic, minced (five or six cloves)
ginger, minced (about 3/4 inch of medium sized piece)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
olive oil (I used extra virgin)
1 cup red wine
sea salt
shredded cheese

Prep and Cooking

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Prep zucchini (cut and seed), place in a casserole dish with 1/2 cup water, cover with foil, and put in the oven for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prep and start the rice.
4. Saute’ the minced onion, garlic, and ginger until onion is soft and garlic is beginning to brown.
5. Add ground poultry to the onion mixture and cook until the meat is browned.
6. Add red wine, tomatoes, basil, parsley, turmeric, and pepper to mixture and continue to cook on medium-high heat to reduce the sauce a bit.
7. When the zucchini is done with the first fifteen minutes of cooking, remove from oven, take zucchini from dish, and dump any excess water from dish.
8. Fill zucchini with meat mixture and spread the rest of the mixture evenly across the bottom of the casserole dish.
9. Press the filled zucchini down into the meat mixture in the casserole dish and cover with cheese.
10. Put back into the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
11. Serve with rice.

I used 2 pounds of meat so that I’d have plenty of extra meat mixture to put over top of the rice. One pound of meat would have been sufficient for six torpedoes, maybe eight, depending on how large the zucchini are.

Recipe: Pseudo-Fried Rice (Ground Chicken and Peppers version)

Pseudo-Fried Rice (Ground Chicken and Sweet Peppers version)Light and easy was on the menu again, making use of left over rice and the ground chicken and some of a bag of mini sweet peppers.  The tumeric and peppers combined to give this a smoky sweet taste.
The Ingredients
cooked rice
1/2 medium onion (chopped)
16 oz. ground chicken
3 garlic cloves (coarsely chopped)
kosher salt
8 mini sweet peppers
ground tumeric
coconut oil
Prep and Cooking
1. Begin browning the chicken in a skillet, adding the garlic and some salt and pepper and the tumeric
2. Part of the way through the browning, add the onion
3.  Clean, chop, and add the peppers
4. Cook for a couple minutes and add the rice** and then the coconut oil
5. Stir the mixture fairly constantly to get an even temperature without burning
**NOTE:  Since the rice had been in the refrigerator for a few days, I sprinkled a little water on it and nuked it for a minute and a half to soften it before adding to the skillet.

Recipe: Pseudo-Fried Rice (Kielbasa/Smoked Sausage version)

Pseudo-Fried Rice (Kielbasa)Light and easy was on the menu, making use of the left over rice and kielbasa I had in the refrigerator.
The Ingredients
cooked rice
1/2 medium onion (chopped)
16 oz. Sausage or Kielbasa (I used Smithfield’s Polska Kielbasa)
garlic powder
sea salt
lemon juice
Prep and Cooking
1. Begin sauteing the onion in olive oil (I’ve been using a blend of olive, grapeseed, and canola oils) with salt and pepper
2. Slice the Kielbasa and put in the pan with the onions (add a little more oil as necessary) and the garlic powder
3. As the kielbasa begins to brown, add a squeeze or two of lemon juice (from the plastic lemon)
4. When the kielbasa is done cooking, add in the rice and a little more oil
5. Stir until the rice is warm/hot

BBQ Cheeseburger Casserole

Robio's BBQ Cheeseburger Casserole

You can kind of see the layers of rice, BBQ beef, and mashed potatoes

My wife mentioned Shepherd’s Pie yesterday.  Today, as I was thinking about what to do with the ground beef, I thought of the mashed potatoes from the Shepherd’s Pie, but I also wanted to use the leftover rice.  A good flavor to blend with both of those is BBQ sauce…that’s how this recipe came about.  The kids and wife (and me) all liked it.
BBQ Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Rice (I used left over white rice)
Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Black Pepper
Ranch Dressing
Sour Cream
Prep and Cooking
If using freshly made rice, get it started and preheat oven to 350 degrees before going to step 1.
1.  Prepare mashed potatoes according to recipe on box (I added the sour cream and the Ranch dressing to make the potatoes a little creamier…less thick…to make them easier to spread across the beef mixture)
2.  While making the potatoes, brown the beef with Worcestershire sauce and black pepper, and when the browning is nearly complete, add the onion.  Once the meat is browned, drain the grease, then add the BBQ sauce and simmer.
3.  Put a layer of rice in the bottom of the pan –about 1/3 of the height
4.  Cover with cheese
5.  Put the beef mixture in the pan and cover with cheese.  It should fill the next 1/3 of the pan.
6.  Put dish in oven for about 15 minutes.
7.  Take dish out of the oven, fill in the rest of the pan with the mashed potatoes, and put back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
8.  Take out of the oven again, top with more cheese, and pop back into the oven until the cheese is melted.
9.  Server hot.

Tropical Chicken & Rice


Heading home from work today, I knew I had to do something with the chicken in the refrigerator.  I was contemplating the old standby of chicken in the skillet with diced tomatoes and basil and rosemary and garlic and… but I didn’t feel like stopping to get the herbs.  That’s when the rum called to me.  I normally do the pineapple with pork chops, but this worked out pretty well.  Everyone except the wee one (who used to like pineapple, but now claims she doesn’t) liked it.
Boneless chicken breasts in large cubes
Appleton Estate Rum
Brown sugar
1 can Crushed pineapple
1/2 large Onion, diced
Garlic powder
Smoked Paprika
Chili powder
White rice
Prep and Cooking
1. Mix rum, brown sugar, and juice from crushed pineapple into bowl and mix.
2. Nuke on half power to warm mixture enough to melt brown sugar, making it a slightly syrupy sauce.
3. Place chicken into mixture, stir and dump crushed pineapple on top.  Cover and marinate for an hour or two.
4. Prep and start rice in rice cooker.
5. Put chicken and pineapple into large skillet and bring to boil while adding onion and pinches of the spices.  Once at a boil, cover and reduce to a very low boil/simmer. Stir occasionally.
6. When rice is almost done, uncover chicken/skillet to reduce just a bit.
7. Serve over rice.

Recipe: Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Bell PeppersI was trying to think of what to have yesterday while shopping at the local grocery store. While in the produce section, I noticed the red and yellow peppers. While looking at them, I noticed the abundance of green peppers which also looked good. I hadn’t had stuffed peppers in a while and I thought my in-laws might be coming over for dinner tonight and know that they like them, so I decided to make Stuffed Bell Peppers.
I’m not sure if these peppers were thicker or fresher than the ones I’ve had from others’ Stuffed Pepper recipes or if they just cook them longer in the oven, but the ones I made tonight were much more crisp and juicy. I actually liked them better this way, but it did make for a much stronger green pepper flavor. Most times the pepper doesn’t really seem to have a lot of flavor –it seems to only serve as the vessel for holding the beef mixture.
Diced Red and Yellow PeppersThe Ingredients
6 green peppers
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, diced
1lb ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
small chunk of ginger, minced
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
Worcester sauce
shredded cheese
sea salt
cracked black pepper
Peppers stuffed and ready for the ovenPrep and Cooking
1. Prep and start the rice (in a rice cooker)
2. Brown beef in skillet with onion, garlic, ginger, Worcester sauce, salt and pepper
3. Prep the green peppers while the mixture simmers by cutting out the tops and removing the seeds
4. Mix the rice into the beef mixture and stuff the peppers to almost full
5. Spread any remaining mixture across the bottom of the baking dish, emplace the peppers, cover with foil, and place in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes
6. Remove the dish, fill the peppers the rest of the way with cheese, and place back in the oven, uncovered, until the cheese is melted –about 5 to 10 minutes
**Note: I actually made two separate mixtures with rice. I knew my younger daughter wouldn’t eat the peppers and doesn’t like spicy food so I divided the mixture above prior to adding the can of Tomatoes with Green Chilies and the brown rice -she also doesn’t like brown rice. I made a pot of white rice while the peppers were cooking and stirred it into the remaining mixture.
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