Stuffed!

I don’t know what got into me last night, maybe I was craving Italian food like we had on Saturday (Alicia did order the Stuffed Peppers), but I got in my head (which is never a good sign) that I was going to make stuffed bell peppers. I’m a notoriously amateur cook (just ask my boyfriend, sister, grandmother, mother, best friend, you get the picture) and called my little sister, Elissa, for some details on how to best create this delicacy! After getting her advice (read: she told me to find a recipe), I found the grocery store and purchased ground turkey, minute brown rice, 4 bell peppers, canned pasta sauce, and mozzarella cheese. I’m 100 percent sure it is possible to make these A LOT more complex, but I’m also 100 percent sure it’s not possible to make them easier – These  were super simple and super quick!  I started cooking at 8, and these were done by 8:35 – And as a warning – they were massive!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground Turkey
  • 1/2 cup faux cornflake bread crumbs
  •  2 cups of dry brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 bell peppers, tops cut off and seeded
  • 1 (26 ounce) can spaghetti sauce

First, I cut off the tops of the peppers and cleaned them out, while I browned the turkey with some garlic, chopped onion, salt and pepper (Lots of garlic! It’s a staple in our apartment)

Check out those bad boys ready to be filled up!

Next – and this might sound like a real cop-out – I partially cooked the rice per the microwave instructions … and then mixed the cooked rice into the turkey and added the canned sauce to speed up the process – Plus a couple more pinches of seasoning. While the mixture simmered a bit, I made a tiny bit of cornflake breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top (so easy, low in calories, and adds such a good crunch!)  and dropped a pinch of shredded mozzarella into the bottom of each pepper.

Peppers Pre-Oven!

It was MUCH easier to fill the peppers with the mixture than I thought, and I had more than enough for another two peppers (next time, I’ll get six!). I sprinkled a little mozzarella, then the faux breadcrumbs on top to give it a crunch and popped in the over for 30 minutes.

Stuffed Peppers! They looked a lot prettier pre-oven 🙂

And we’re definitely having the leftover peppers for dinner tonight!

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Saturday Night Done Right

Saturday night Alicia, Adam and I headed to the theatre district, which is not always my favorite. As most New Yorkers will tell you, the best place to be is away from Tourists (not that we do not love you tourists, please come visit, it’s just that sometimes it’s nicer to be in less crowded places!) and the theatre district, while rich with culture, is swarming with lots of people, especially on a Saturday night.

We really had no direction for dinner, and just wanted to try something fun. My mother has always wanted to try a restaurant ran by Lidia Bastianich from Lidia’s Italy on PBS, so her restaurant, Becco, located on restaurant Row is always on my list of places to experience. It was a huge surprise that it only had a 30 minute wait, and the menu pricing was comparable to the other less noteworthy restaurants – so we decided to give it a try it. (Mom, if you’re reading this, I promise I’ll bring you here next time you’re in town)

Becoo - Love the Duck!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Most of the establishments in this area of the city have a prefix menu or pre-theatre dinner option. They usually have an appetizer, entrée, and dessert for about $25-30 dollars. I do not usually go for these options, because then I feel obligated to eat all those things and I have a harder time special ordering items steamed or with sauce on the side (Read: I’m a difficult patron for wait staff) – However, Becco‘s special menu wow-ed me! For $23 bucks you get a choice of an Antipasto or a Caesar Salad and unlimited portions of three of their house pastas – check out their menu here. I decided to go for it – and ordered the “Sinfonia di Paste” aka, their prefix choice. Adam and I split the anti-pasto, which could have been dinner by itself. The grilled/seasoned veggies were great, and so were the cheeses. However, while I’m an adventurous eater – The thought of baby octopus really got to me, so I did not eat much of the seafood portion of this appetizer
 

Griled Veggies - Perfecto!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Peas and Ricotta with Honey!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monk fish and Baby octopus

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The pastas of the day were a penne a la vodka with shrimp, a pesto pasta, and a mushroom ravioli with truffles. They wait staff came through the restaurant with hot bowls of these pasta and passed out large servings to anyone that ordered this special menu. While the pastas are all unlimited, I have to admit, I definitely just tried the pesto and shrimp options because the mushroom ravioli was amazing. Living in the city, we get a very spoiled on the quality of Italian food we can eat out, order in or purchase (we even have a mini-Italy in midtown – Eataly) so I think it takes a lot for me to love a dish. And let me tell you, these pieces of stuffed pasta were fabulous!

Take a look at all that pasta! And they try to serve you seconds, and thirds and ... more, if you want them

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Alicia's stuffed peppers

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is definitely a good place to go if you’re looking to gorge yourself – or just try a bunch of different things. Alicia ordered the stuffed peppers, and they were so large, that she was only able to finish half of it. What I enjoyed, was I was able to sample different dishes, and only eat bits and pieces of what I wanted. For NYC, Becco really provides a good meal, and is worth the price -Two thumbs up!