I am lucky to have three days off per week, but this week I lost two of those days traveling back and forth for my son's tennis meets. I squeezed in quite a bit of cooking and baking despite the lost time. On Thursday, we had Cilantro-Lime Quinoa with Spicy Black Beans (I should tell you ... this is the first vegan meal I've served my husband...he went back for seconds and asked that I prepare this meal again!). On Friday, we had French's Fried Onion Oven Baked Chicken. On Saturday, I grilled shish-ka-bobs with beef sirloin steak and veggies. I got creative and boiled some small red potatoes and then put them on skewers and finished them on the grill with olive oil, fresh garlic, and dried Italian herbs. Last night, I baked whole wheat bread in the bread machine. I stocked the fridge with a big garden salad and the boys are eating the fresh berries just as fast as I can rinse and slice them up. I cooked so much and did not follow any recipes for any of these meals, but since this blog is new... next time I make up these recipes... I will type up ingredients, measurements, and directions, snap photos, and post about it. For now, there is a nice pot of Italian Red Pepper Soup in the fridge for easy warming up. Here is the recipe:
½ pound extra lean ground beef or 1/2 pound to 3/4 pound diced top sirloin steak
½ pound mild or sweet or hot Italian pork sausage (I prefer hot)
2 medium sized red bell peppers, diced
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 can (16 ounces) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans (white kidney beans) or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes (fire-roasted if available)
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes (with basil, garlic & oregano)
2 cans (14 ounces each) low sodium beef broth
1. In a Dutch oven (or large soup pot), cook and crumble the ground beef and pork sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink (approximately 3 to 4 minutes). If using diced steak, brown the steak while you cook and crumble the sausage. Drain the cooked beef and sausage in a kitchen strainer or on paper towels. Allow approximately ½ teaspoon of fat rendered from beef and sausage to remain in the Dutch oven.
2. Return the Dutch oven to the heat and add the diced peppers. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add the next 7 ingredients. Stir to combine.
3. Add the drained beef and sausage to the peppers in the Dutch oven. Add the remaining ingredients to the Dutch oven; stir to combine. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once the soup comes up to a boil, reduce heat; simmer covered for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and serve. Reheats well and freezes well.