Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Prepare a Meal

I would like to describe how to prepare stuffed green peppers. This is one of my favorite meals and one that my parents have made for me numerous times while growing up. This recipe has many different variations. This specific one I am going to show you today makes 6 stuffed green peppers, which can feed 4-6 people, depending on how hungry someone is and the size of the peppers. The ingredients, which can be found at any local grocery store, include 1.5 lbs lean ground beef, 1 onion (optional), 3/4 cup uncooked white rice, 3/4 cup water, 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with the juice, 1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes, 1 jar spaghetti sauce, and 6 large green bell peppers.
The baking steps are pretty simple. First, heat the ground beef and onion over medium heat in a large skillet or pot. Once they are brown, add the rice, water, diced and stewed tomatoes. Some salt and pepper can be added here for flavor, and then it is heated until the rice is tender. At this point, the oven should be preheated to 325 degrees F.
The green peppers can now be washed, tops cut off, and the seeds cleaned out. Now, fill the peppers with the meat mixture. The green peppers are then put in a casserole dish where they should stand up. Cook those in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the peppers are at a tender state.
After taking the green peppers out of the oven, heated spaghetti sauce can be poured lightly on top to add flavor, along with some shredded cheese if desired. In total, it takes about 20 minutes to prepare and 20 or more to cook.
I would add a side dish to top off this meal. I would probably add some sort of vegetable and/or salad to make it complete. Some easy variations can include using ground turkey instead of ground beef, which will reduce some of the fat. I love red peppers and have used those for this recipe. Red peppers are just a little sweeter.
Each step of the preparation is important. It is necessary to have clean, fresh vegetables and to cook the meat fully. After this meal, I feel very satisfied. This food is not too dense or heavy where I feel full to the point of sickness. I also feel very satisfied and accomplished because I made the meal myself.
Michael Pollan discusses the growing effect of processed foods and grabbing on the go. Americans, in general, are very busy and tend to grab processed, unhealthier foods when they do not have time to make a meal. This is becoming a problem because people do not receive all the nutrients they need and consequently their health declines. The meal I just made took less than an hour for food preparation and cooking, which was worth the time. I usually have leftovers when I make this meal, and that is a good use of food when you're a busy person. This blog, called Priceless, shares a good article about fast food menu's that can back up my Michael Pollan's opinion. I found a lot of it interesting, especially when it broke down the techniques used by Starbucks in it's menu. I believe some people chose to ignore the importance of eating a good meal. I agree with Michael Pollan and I think it is truly important to enjoy what you eat and take care of your body.

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