Tag Archives: Stuffed Peppers

CarolCooks2…Friday Product Review…Slow Cookers…

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week it’s…Slow Cookers…

Slow cookers are healthy as they rely on low heat to prepare food, which reduces the chances of nutrient destruction, unlike other cooking styles.

How much electricity does one use? Depending on their size, slow cooker wattage runs from as little as 50 watts to over 300 watts. That’s not a lot of power, and even when you consider that you leave one cooking 3 quarts of food for 8 hours a day, a 200-watt slow cooker will use only 1.6 kWh.

Let’s address the elephant in the room...lead leaching...

Due to the popular use of crock pots and slow cookers since the 1970s… There is an increasing worry about potential lead poisoning… While slow cookers and crock pots of any age can cause worry, the older the cooker is the more lead-leaching potential it has.

Microscopic cracks and general wear-and-tear of the inner ceramic pots are where the concerns come from… Home cooks using old, but still, operable slow cookers should be checking for even the minutest of cracks…, slow cookers from the 1990s might want to be replaced for a safer more modern unit.

Excessive lead exposure can cause attention disorders, physical development issues, pregnancy complications, and pain issues, among a host of other problems.

There are many ways lead has traditionally gotten into the body, through home renovations, drinking water, soil particles, and occupational hazards. Although we cannot control exposure in all instances, it is important when we do have control—as with cooking materials—that we make a proactive and healthy choice.

Cooking in a pot with a ceramic glaze at a higher temperature setting is generally much safer because the glaze stays sealed, the temperature is higher, and the time period of cooking is generally one hour or less. This is opposed to ceramic glazed slow cookers that often have contact with foods for six to eight hours at a lower temperature.

The more modern ones use other materials rather than ceramics with glazes…other options are a clay pot …clay pots have been around for thousands of years…plus some foods are far better cooked in a clay pot…particularly dishes made with tomatoes or peppers, or have added spices like paprika or sumac,, the clay pot will bring out the sweetness and enhance the flavour.

Cooking with a slow cooker…ideal here where it’s hot and humid as it doesn’t heat my kitchen…

It’s ideal for cooking Hot Cereals: I  used to love to make breakfast overnight for the morning when my children were young… You can make oat bran, oatmeal, and corn porridge let the slow cooker do the work and not a burnt bottom in sight…Those of you who know me and follow this blog know how very good I am at burning saucepans -sigh-

Porridge, eggs, mango chutney…I am an expert…lol…my other half is also very good at cleaning burnt saucepans…

Now let’s look at what you can cook…

Roast Chicken…

All you need to do is sit your chicken on a bed of vegetables and add some stock then cook as per the times for your particular slow cooker …I cook mine on slow for about 4 -5 hrs and then crisp the skin under the grill/broiler…the veggies and that lovely juice I sometimes use to make gravy or keep it as a base for soup…nothing gets wasted.

 

You can do a pot roast in the same way…the beauty is it cooks while you are shopping, writing, taking the kids to football or tennis…and nothing gets burnt or dried out…

 

Stuffed Bell peppers…

  • 6 large bell peppers 
  • 1lb ground beef (at least 80% lean)
  • 1cup finely chopped onions
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2cups cooked white rice
  • 1can (15 oz) organic tomato sauce
  • Fresh or dried basil
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or any melting cheese…like mozzarella or Jack.

Let’s Cook!

Spray a 6-quart oval slow cooker with cooking spray. Trim tops off bell peppers; remove ribs
and seeds. Set aside…
In 12-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat, cook beef, onions, salt and pepper and basil for
8 to 10  minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is cooked through and onion softens.
Add garlic; cook 15 seconds. Drain.
Stir rice and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce into beef mixture in the pan; mix to combine. Stir in 1 cup
of the cheese. Stuff peppers with beef mixture; arrange in the slow cooker. Pour remaining
tomato sauce over the peppers. I like to top mine with the lid of the pepper I think they look
more attractive on the plate when serving…
Cover cook on Low heat setting 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours or until peppers are soft. Top the peppers
with the remaining 1 cup cheese.
Cover cook 3 to 8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Use a slotted spoon to lift peppers
from slow cooker.
Cooks tip: When buying your peppers choose ones that have a flat bottom or trim the
points off and add the offcuts to your beef mix…this makes them stand
a little more upright rather than falling over…
I love my slow cooker and use it a lot however once this one reaches the end of its life I will be
investing in an Instant pot or maybe I won’t for that as the Instant pot is also a pressure cooker.
Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments…do you use a
slow cooker and if so what is your favourite slow cooker recipe?
See you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – #Summer Eating – Stuffed Peppers and Fajitas.

Some tasty summer recipes from Sally…I love the sound of the stuffed pepper filling…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This week I have two recipes for a main course, one of which is vegetarian and the other is a low fat version of one of my favourite Mexican meals, Fajitas.

Summer is not all about eating salads and cold meals. Especially if you are entertaining and certainly in Texas which has long, and very hot and humid summers, was the place that we were introduced to fajitas. Since your family or guests are basically compiling the meal themselves it is great to stick bowls in the centre of the table and tell them to dig in.

First a vegetarian option although you can add chicken, prawns, salmon etc to the dish if you wish.

Stuffed Red Peppers.

Here is a recipe that is packed with many of the nutrients needed to keep your circulatory system healthy and clear of blockages. Full of B-vitamins, vitamin C, fibre and essential fatty…

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