weekly meals // stuffed peppers.

Several weeks ago I shared about my goal to plan meals every week instead of flying by the seat of my very, very hungry pants at dinnertime. How have I done the last 6 weeks? I'll be honest: just so-so. The week that followed this post was pretty good, and then I got lackadaisical for few weeks and fell off the meal planning horse.

I am happy to report that the last two weeks have been a bit better, although I have to admit I am not going to give myself an A+ just yet. There is always going to be room for improvement, and quite frankly, sometimes a bean, rice, and cheese burrito from your local Mexican food joint just hits the spot.

Monday: Stuffed Peppers with homemade marinara
Extra items purchased: Hamburger meat.
This was my biggest win of the week! My neighbor unloaded several pounds of home grown tomatoes and a few peppers too. I made my own marinara sauce on Sunday evening and whipped up the peppers after work on Monday.

Tuesday: Pasta with meat sauce.
Extra items purchased:  None!
Also a big win! I used the leftover marinara, leftover meat sauce, and pasta I already had. Also, frozen broccoli that's always in the freezer.

Wednesday: Eh. See comment about burrito above.

Thursday: Leftovers, mostly the hamburger rice mixture from Monday. And sugary cereal for papa.

Friday: Homemade Mac & cheese and salads.
Extra items purchased: None!
I still had pasta leftover from Tuesday (I made way too much), and with the shredded cheese, milk, and butter we always have on hand it was easy enough to make a cheesy sauce and pop it in the oven. Penelope ate No Added Salt Sweet Peas from a can (she actually really loves them) with her bites of Mac & Cheese, and while I cut up carrot sticks and peas for Elliott, that did not get eaten. Papa and I ate spinach salads. It was probably the first time all four of us enjoyed the exact same meal together.

Saturday & Sunday: Split pea soup & grilled cheese sandwiches
Extra items purchased: a few dried herbs that I should have in my pantry anyway.
I know it's still Friday, and I haven't made this yet, but my plan is to make a huge pot of soup from this recipe, and graze on it all weekend. I hear Southern California is going to be a bit cooler the next two days, so why not welcome fall with a little soup?!

Stuffed Peppers 

Please don't judge me by my terrible photo. Food photos are hard!

Stuffed peppers is a dish my mom used to make and while I don't make it often, it reminds me of my childhood whenever I do. Isn't there something cozy about making something your mom used to make and feeding it to your own family? I don't have my mom's recipe and I am not really even sure if I make it quite like her's, but it's still good. I am not one to cook with a recipe unless I am trying something new. Usually each dish is a little different each time I make it, pending on what I have on hand or how ambitious I am feeling.

Bell peppers, 1-2 for each person, pending on the size (my husband and I each ate 1 & a half)
1 cup brown rice
1-2 cups of marinara (about a 1/4 cup per pepper, plus a little more for the pan)
1 lb ground beef, or another ground meat of your choice
1/2 onion, chopped
salt & pepper
1 & 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large stock pot of water to boil. Bring another 2 cup of water to boil in an alternate pot. While the water is heating up, wash your peppers and remove the stem and seeds. Once the water begins to boil, put all your peppers in the stock pot and the brown rice in the two cups of water. Boil about 20 minutes. Turn peppers over occasionally so all parts of the pepper soften a bit. When your rice is finished, drain and set aside in a large bowl.

While your peppers are boiling, brown hamburger in a pan with onion and a little salt and pepper. You can also sprinkle with a little dried oregano if you're feeling festive! Transfer your marinara (less a 1/4 cup), beef, and mozzarella to a bowl with the brown rice, and mix well. Remove your peppers from the water and let them cool a bit so you can handle them.

In a deep casserole dish, spread the remaining sauce in the bottom. Stuff peppers with the meat & sauce mixture and stand in the dish. Top with a little more cheese, and bake for about 30 minutes.



  1. Charlotte, I love stuffed peppers... I should make my own Marinara sauce,,, these are always divine and everyone loves them too... I think I will be buying peppers today :)

  2. Yum! I might try that recipe this week. I have also been attempting meal planning.... I used to be anti-meal planning because I considered it something perfectionist Pintrest moms did. (Bitter much?) But i have embraced it since my aunt likened it to lesson planning and encouraged me to try. I look forward to cooking sometimes, now and find that knowing well ahead of time "what's for dinner" really cuts down on my dinner-hour panic. One recipe I love is Ree Drummond's "The Pioneer Woman's" Sloppy Joes. Sometimes we eat them with Hawaiian rolls (not good for me to have in the house, actually...) but you can use any rolls you like. Teddy loves Orange Chicken and I tried a crock pot recipe this week - but it was really a flop. The point is... I'm trying!

    1. It's HARD and Pinterest really has a way of making you feel like a failure... or maybe that's just my neurotic inner dialogue talking. ha! And the Pioneer Woman's recipes are no-fail. Time and time again. I will check out her sloppy joe recipe, you can't go wrong with a good joe!


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