Olive Pita Pizza: Mushrooms, Sausage, Ricotta and Pesto

mushroom-ricotta-sausage-pesto-pita-pizza-wm

Dinner Ideas Made Simple With Pita Bread

Pita bread pizza is one of our favourite pizzas to make on homemade olive pita even though every once in a while I whip up my better than take-out pizza as a splurge for the two of us. The great thing about pita bread pizzas is that it is an easy meal for one and it’s not only simple to make it’s also a healthy alternative to the traditional pizza pie.

The ingredients to make your own pita bread are fairly straightforward but if you don’t fancy making your own pita bread you can purchase all sorts of flat breads and pita breads at the grocery store for about $1.00. For this recipe I used my olive pita bread recipe but I rolled it out very thin so no pocket would form. We are always looking for healthy lunch ideas and preferably a recipe that won’t take us long to make. The great thing about making the pita bread is you can freeze it and take one out a time if you like if you only want to make one serving.

Cooking with kids

Pita bread pizzas are becoming more popular with the kids as well because more families are introducing pita into the kitchen which is a great alternative to traditional breads. I know that I love having kids in the kitchen to teach them how to cook and if you inspire a young child you never know where the inspirations may take them. You have to motivate a child though and encourage them to participate and making pita pizzas a simple way to get them involved in making a delicious meal or snack that they will be proud they did on their own.

Basil-pesto-2013-garden

Pita pizza toppings

I’m a huge fan of ricotta and if you look at my recipe index you will see I use ricotta in many of my creations. Although I buy ricotta if you have the time you can make homemade ricotta very easily. My friend Beth at Aunt B’s Kitchen has a simple ricotta recipe that anyone can make ahead of time so you can use a base for your pita bread pizza toppings. If you are a veggie pizza lover the great thing about pita bread pizzas is that you can put whatever toppings you like on top.

This pita pizza recipe that I am sharing with you today has a base layer with ricotta cheese then a nice layer of my basil pesto, cooked pork sausages, mushrooms, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmigiano cheese and a splash of extra virgin olive oil on top. If you like kale, collard greens, spinach, rapini or Swiss Chard you could sauté the vegetables in a pan with some garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and add the greens as wonderful flavour enhancer to the pita pizza as a topping.

The garlic in the basil pesto gives this pita pizza the pizzazz it needs and if you are a grill master you could easily make pizza on the grill and it would make the cooking time even quicker. I’m also betting the flavour will taste 100 times better although I’ve never tried it myself. The variations of toppings for a pita pizza is endless and as long as you have a foodie imagination and a hungry stomach you can look in your pantry and see what you have on hand and turn your pita pizza into a masterpiece.

Healthy Dinners

If you don’t want to make this a quick-lunch and prefer to serve it as a healthy dinner alternative you could add a lovely tuna pasta salad, cucumber and mint salad, tomato salad with chickpeas to make this a complete meal. I like to garnish my dish with fresh parsley from the garden and then I put it right on top of my pita pizza and eat straight away while it’s hot. You can’t beat fresh herbs from the garden so when they are available to me I eat them every chance I can. Sometimes you might even catch me just ripping a piece of parsley, basil or chives while wandering around the back gardens for taste and smell of the aroma on my hands.

What toppings do you like on your pita pizza? 

Pita Pizza

Yield: 4 pita pizzas

Oven temp: 350 degrees for 7 -10 minutes

Preparation Pita Bread

Start by making your own Olive Pita Bread. If you don’t like olives you can leave them out. If you don’t have time to make pita bread then buy a package at your local grocery store.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of basil pesto
  • 1 cup of grated mozzarella
  • 1 cup of fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cooked pork sausages sliced
  • fresh parsley to garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil to splash on top of each pita pizza

Preparation

  • Heat up your pizza stone in the oven so it comes to temp at 350 degrees. If you don’t have a pizza stone you can easily use a baking sheet or the grill.
  • Layer the bottoms of your pita with ricotta cheese, then a layer of pesto, layer of marinara sauce, mushrooms, sausages, mozzarella cheese on top with Parmigiano cheese and a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil
  • Put them in the oven on the pizza stone at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes or until browned and the cheese is melted.
  • Enjoy with a garnish of fresh parsley and a side salad.

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The Saturday Weekly Review #28: Frugal fun in the kitchen with basil

The-Saturday-Weekly-Review-28

Holy basil this year in our garden, I can hardly see the neighbours property through all the basil that has grown. Not really, (that’s my sad attempt at humour today) but it all brings me joy. Just when you thought you wouldn’t have enough, your seeds start sprouting and you have an abundance of green aromatic beauty before you.

That’s how I feel after growing basil this year in the planters that I built with leftover wood from building our deck. Over the years we have grown basil in the ground, in stand up pots but we’ve had much more success in the flat wide pots that we continue to use them year after year. Planting basil is not difficult, but if you want to grow basil you have to start early and get your seeds in the soil so they have ample time to grow over the summer.

Basil-pesto-2013-garden

I spent the morning today making a frugal basil pesto. I call it frugal because it doesn’t contain pine nuts or walnuts both of which cost a fortune but we don’t miss that at all. A small jar of basil pesto like in the photo above can run you about $3.99 at the grocery store unless you find it on sale for $1.88. The best is fresh from the garden, organic herbs at their best peak flavours. Just tasting it made me want to boil up some hot pasta so I could mix it in and eat it all up, but I’ll hold off until tonight because we have ricotta cheese I’m going to mix in as well.

Learning how to be frugal with money doesn’t mean you have to compromise on eating good food. If you recall last year I did a post about how I created my basil garlic cubes by freezing the purée in muffin tins and I’ll do that again this year. It’s a great way to have summer fresh flavours all year-long.

You can see from the picture how vibrant the colour is, but I’ll tell you for the amount I made this morning, you need lots of basil. It’s a good thing I grew more than we thought we would need because I will use it all up. I managed to make 2 small jars of basil pesto and then I also made 6 basil cubes in my muffin tin. I’m hoping over the course of the summer I can keep on making the basil cubes so we can store them in the freezer for the winter.

Making basil pesto

If you want to learn how to make basil pesto, it’s not hard at all. This morning all I did was peel about 10- 12 cloves of garlic, 10 cups of fresh basil (or more depending on how much basil flavour you want), juice of 1 lime, 1 cup of fresh parsley, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (depending on how much basil you add). The idea is to taste it along the way for flavour balance and create a sauce texture, it’s easy. I whizzed it up in the food processor and it turned out lovely. Now, sometimes I add in parmigiano-regianno cheese which you can do and if you have the cash you can splurge and use the pine nuts and walnuts like I mentioned above.

If you want to make your fresh basil sweet add some sugar or honey to sweeten it up which I’ve done and combined it with a vanilla yogurt to use on bbq meat or I’ve even made salad dressings. Sometimes the aroma of the basil plant is so alluring that I nip off a basil leaf and eat it right there. Although it is bitter if your basil plant is a sweet basil you may find you taste a hint of sweetness. I’ve never harvested basil seeds but I’d like to this year so I can plant basil next year instead of getting my seeds at the dollar store.

I’m not sure what the process is of harvesting basil seeds but I’m sure it can’t be all that difficult. There are so many types of basil that I’ve come across and although I’d love to have them all I just don’t have the space. Some of the basil plants I’ve had are chocolate basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, Italian basil, sweet basil etc. There are so many things you can do with basil that you can never have too much basil.

So if you want to make your own, you better get basil planting because before you know it summer will be over.

Do you grow your own basil? What kinds of basil do you like?

Gardening and Landscaping

bowl-of-fresh-cherrries

When we got home from Canada Day long weekend we had a huge pot of cherries that we picked from the cherry trees. This week I decided to make a Cherry Ricotta Cheese Danish of sorts which meant I had to create a cherry pie filling. The cherry pie filling is so easy to make. If you know how to make homemade custard or if you make jam or jelly like we do, you can make pie filling with fruit. I’m not really sure if I can call it a Danish as I made a simple pie crust but I’ll come up with a name for it sooner or later. I can’t wait to show you the photos so make sure to check back on July 21 for that recipe.

fresh-curly-leaf-parsley

The parsley has been going nuts as well, which is a good thing because we use lots of parsley in our meals and dips to jazz up the colour and the flavour. Last year we had the Italian parsley but all we could find was curly parsley seeds at the dollar store so we went with that.

Weekly blog post review

You can now follow Canadian Budget Binder via Bloglovin and continue to get my daily posts in this reader.

If you are a regular reader you would have already received these awesome posts in your email or reader but just in case you missed reading one I’ve put them all together here just for you.

PLUS…. check out the NEW FEATURE I’ve added which is my New Free Recipe Index! You get all the recipes that I have posted here at Canadian Budget Binder in one spot so you don’t have to go looking for them.

Garage sailing with Jen

jen-garage-sale-July-13

Jen and her husband have made many improvements to their shopping habits and their budget. You can read all about it in her guest post, Budgeting With Mr. CBB Got Us Back On Track. Jen shares her weekly garage sale finds with us for the summer to show just how much she can save for her family.

Here are this weeks garage sale deals:

  • Case logic organizer for the back of a car seat $.50 (they were asking $1)
  • Elmo Christmas DVD $.50
  • Plastic 2 drawer organizer (for my desk at work) $.50 (they were asking $1)
  • Fry cutter – free
  • Jolly Jumper head rest – free
  • Britax car seat $1.00 -Yes that’s $1!!! What an amazing price! These car seats retail for $199.99. This one is only one year old and expires in 2017. It is in like new condition and Britax is one of the best name brands for car seats. The man just really wanted his garage cleaned out. He also charged people $1 for other things while I was there like a coffee table and two wooden chairs. He sold a nice bbq for $5! I like these kinds of garage sales.

Total $2.50

Awesome deals this week Jen and just like I pointed out last week you can go garage sailing with no money and you’ve proven that again today with some free items. Well done, enjoy that car seat.

Making a difference

StackingBenjamins_Podcast_500x500

This section is about sharing other personal finance blogs around the web that are making a difference to others. Each week I will feature a blog that I feel is making a difference and that I think all of my fans should visit. Today, I introduce to you my good friend Joe from Stacking Benjamins.

Hi, CBB readers! I’m Joe Saul-Sehy (often referred to as “Average Joe” from my early blogging anonymous days). Besides being the husband of an awesome spouse, father to two above-average kids (despite having me as a parent….), and owner of one cat (not my idea), I also operate a blog and podcast both called Stacking Benjamins  Some bragging: the podcast is currently rated in the top 30 podcasts in the business section of iTunes and the top 10 in the investing section. It isn’t your traditional investing podcast. There’s no running around yelling, we don’t point fingers or act condescending. The podcast  is live from my parent’s basement, we have contributors from all over North America, and it’s plain-and-simple a variety show aimed as much toward beginners and entertainment than hard, boring investing topics.

How do I make a difference? Hmmm….I was a financial advisor for 16 years, helping families figure out their budget, sock money away, decide which insurances were a waste of time and which they should consider, and plan milestones toward their future. I try to use the hacks and quick tips I learned to help readers and listeners.

Here’s something funny: Lots of my advice comes from having messed up just about everything you could imagine myself! I was the guy who didn’t know the importance of not getting into debt early (I did), withholding money so you don’t owe the government too much (I did), having a cash reserve so when the muffler’s dragging behind your car you don’t have to get into more debt (I didn’t), or getting your will done when you have kids (I didn’t until they were nearly three). While I enjoy being the example of “what not to do,” I also enjoy showing people how I “should have done it, had I not been a complete and utter moron.”

While I say that I messed up, it wasn’t all bad. I built and sold a business for a big six figure number by the time I was 41. I’ve counselled other business owners and families toward some giant financial successes. I was the “Money Man” on Detroit ABC television for nine years. Now I’m at the next crossroads: my twins just turned 18 and are off to college. My son will attend the University of Texas in Electrical Engineering and my daughter is going to run track for the Arkansas Razorback while in the Honours Biology/Pre-med program. I have no other children, so Cheryl and I are going to go from a family of four to empty nesters here in the next few weeks. That’s going to be a big life change!

Blog share 

I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans. Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out.

Carnival glory

What is a blog carnival?

Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web.

Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals

Google search terms

web search terms

What are Google keyword search terms?

Keywords for search engines help me to understand what people are looking for at Canadian Budget Binder. Although I get thousands of keyword searches from Google users that come in each week I pick out a few that catch my eye and make me smile.

Top pick- How to get out of Drug Debt- I think I have a new blog post coming up around the corner. If you are in drug debt and want to contribute your tips and advice to other drug users that are up to their eyeballs in debt, by all means contact me today.

  • Books about fresh spring rolls- You know you have an addiction.. .when!
  • Baking designer cookies- oh no, not here you find nothing designer about my creations, at least I don’t think so
  • Why women love men with money- I don’t think I need to answer this one
  • Love Food Basics Grocery Store- Me, too but I don’t tell Google that lol…
  • I got lots of OSAP- That’s nothing to be excited about, don’t spend it all in one spot if I were you. It’s not free money.
  • Skype Heaven- I can’t believe how many people keep trying, folks, it won’t work.

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Mr.CBB’s Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake

Mr.CBB"s Cauliflower Cheese with Pork Chops

Mr.CBB”s Cauliflower Cheese with Pork Chops

I’ve been making this easy Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake for years now because my mum used to make it when I was a child. I enjoyed hanging out with my father in the garage “fixing” things but I also enjoyed hanging out with me mum and cooking. I remember the smell of the house when this Cauliflower bake was in the oven. The pungent smell of the strong cheese would make your mouth water. I mean, who doesn’t like cheese right? I know some people can’t eat cheese and I would be heart-broken as cheese does make everything better. I’m not a fan of that cheese whiz stuff so I would never buy that although some people don’t mind it. Besides the cost of the cheese this is a frugal side dish but that is elegant enough to be served at a fancy gathering.

Cauliflower Cheese Bake

Mr.CBB’s Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake

Mrs. CBB believe or not has never had a Cauliflower Cheese Bake before so it was my turn to whip up another British Family Traditional recipe in our Canadian home. Technically you could substitute the cauliflower if you didn’t like it and make a cheesy broccoli bake or cheesy potato bake.  If you really want to jazz it up you can make a cheesy broccoli potato bake and add some bacon. You can mix and match all sorts as long as you can make the cheesy sauce. You can also call this a casserole and I have to chuckle and some of my Facebook fans know I laugh when they post they make a casserole. Ever since I moved to Canada and ask “What’s for Dinner” each night on my Facebook page there’s bound to be a casserole. I’ve officially renamed them CASAROLL “Eh” as I’ve never heard of as many variations until I moved to Canada from the UK.

Mrs. CBB, like myself loves cheese but she “really” loves it. This girl can pack back chunks of Parmigiano on crackers if you let her. She would do well in Spain with tapas (which she’s never had) because she loves to try different flavours and textures but in small bits. For this recipe I used an old cheddar however I would suggest you get a strong cheese like an extra-old cheddar or a creamy strong Asiago or both is better. On top I sprinkle real Parmigiano Reggiano on top. Don’t waste your money on the crap in a jar or container get the real deal, pay the money it’s worth it and a little bit goes a long way. I don’t find cheese in Canada as strong like that black diamond, it’s very mild even the old black diamond.

Mr.CBB's Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake topped with Parmigiano Regianno

Mr.CBB’s Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake topped with Parmigiano Reggiano

Last night we made the Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake with some breaded pork chops we baked in the oven and side of fennel fruit salad with ginger-lime dressing. We’ve also served this with homemade sloppy joes for an easy week-night meal. This cheesy cauliflower bake is an easy holiday recipe that you can make for Christmas, Easter, or any special occasion. So if you are like some people who have no idea what to do with cauliflower except to dip in dressing, adding it to a salad or steaming it plain, check this recipe out. I’m betting you will have none left at the end of your dinner service.

What other types of bakes or casserole  CASAROLL “Eh”  do you make?

Mr.CBB's Fennel Fruit Salad with ginger lime dressing

Mr.CBB’s Fennel Fruit Salad with ginger lime dressing

Tools:

  • Baking Pan/sheet
  • deep baking or casserole dish
  • pots for boiling
  • measuring cups
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • spoon
  • cheese grater

Yield: 3-4  servings

Time:

  • Prep- 20 minutes
  • Bake- 30 minutes

Oven Temp: 350 degrees

Milk,Flour, Butter

Milk,Flour, Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of 2% milk
  • 1 cup of old or extra old cheddar or Asiago
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmigiano regianno
  • 1 teaspoon of salt for boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon salt for the cheese sauce
Pour Cheese Sauce over Mr.CBB's Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake

Pour Cheese Sauce over Mr.CBB’s Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake

Preparation:

  • On your cutting board cut your cauliflower into florets and put them in a pot of salted boiling water until tender but not mushy, drain.
  • Pour the drained cauliflower into your casserole dish
  • In a medium-sized pot melt your butter, stir until completely melted
  • Add in your flour and stir, you are making a rue
  • Add in your milk and stir until creamy
  • Add in your cheese  and salt then stir until creamy again
  • Pour over the top of your cauliflower
  • Put your cheesy cauliflower into the pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the peaks are golden brown
  • Take out of the oven and sprinkle with Parmigiano regianno then put back into the over for a few minutes to melt the cheese
  • Let sit for 3-5 minutes then serve.
Serving Mr.CBB's Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake

Serving Mr.CBB’s Creamy Cauliflower Cheese Bake

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Too Much Fresh Basil? Try Mr.CBB’s Basil Garlic Cubes

Mr.CBB's Fresh Basil Garlic Cubes

Are you faced with too much basil in your garden? Last year when we planted fresh basil we struggled to get enough to even make a few tomato salads. We use basil in just about anything we cook that we can jazz up the flavour like pasta, salads, dips, meat and potatoes etc.

Basil in oil is a wonderful thing and if you haven’t tried it you are missing out on some incredible flavours.I don’t know many people who don’t fancy basil but you can get all sorts of different types of basil such as lemon-basil and chocolate-basil as well.

You can easily grow a garden in a small space including herbs all you need are small pots to get your seeds going and before you know it you will have more basil than you know what to do with. It’s not as lucrative of a herb as mint is that grows like a weed but with some love and care this plant will grow in abundance for you depending on where you live of course.

Pairing basil and garlic together with some extra virgin olive oil is like a match made in heaven. If you enjoy the freshest ingredients on your dinner plate it doesn’t get any fresher than this. Another idea we had with our fresh basil was to make basil oil.

We simply drop in fresh basil leaves into a good quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and let the flavours marry. Can basil be frozen? Good Question but it comes out wet and wasn’t the best for us. Since freezing basil on it’s own didn’t turn out for us so well we needed a plan b and the basil garlic cubes were born.

Planting Basil

This year we purchased 4 packages of Italian Basil from the Dollar Store at 2/$1.00 for a decent amount of seeds. You can’t go wrong at that price so we made sure we got enough to spread all over our 2 large planters.

Once planted we watered them daily and kept them outside on the deck where they received the direct sun for 80% of the day. In the evening we would give them each a can of water and made sure they were well moist. In just over 2 months the basil has grown so much we are in awe. I honestly don’t think we expected to see as much basil as we have in comparison to last years crop.

Since we don’t like to waste food we wanted to come up with ideas to use up this basil especially since it’s fairly pricey to buy fresh at the grocery store. If you want to buy a small handful of fresh basil in the shop it costs around $1.99. There is no way we were letting this go to the compost heap.

In the end we will dry what is left and crunch it up to put in our spice jars. We have a variety of spices in labelled mason jars in our cupboard and use spices in almost every dish we cook.

 

Garlic and Basil

Since purchasing a Kitchen-aid food processor (love it) earlier this year we were thrilled to see what we could whip up. We decided to see if we could purée our basil with garlic and freeze it to use over the Canadian winter in our recipes. We decided to try our idea out and it worked perfectly. It’s essentially a frozen basil pesto but one you can use all year-long created from herbs from your garden.

We made a few trays but realized we could do it another way that wasn’t so tedious. We decided to fill muffin tins with our custom basil garlic or garlic basil, whatever you want to call it, we call it yum.

We especially like it on top of some fresh homemade kalamata olive bread, olive pita bread or dip our garlic onion potato balls in the dressing before we freeze it. Once you pop the mixture from the muffin tin buy running a butter knife around you can easily freeze them as disks. We then store them in Ziploc freezer bags for the winter.

We can now enjoy the taste of fresh basil or garlic greens all year-long. This is such an easy process and if you have  a food processor and love your fresh herbs go ahead and blend them up.

Mr.CBB’s Fresh Basil Cubes

Time: 5 minutes

Tools

  • Bowl
  • Spatula
  • Food Processor
  • Muffin tin
Ingredients
  • 8 cups of fresh basil
  • 6 cloves of organic garlic or 2 cups of fresh garlic greens (which we used grown organic courtesy of my father in law)
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cooking spray

What is Pesto Basil?

It’s essentially a mix of herbs, olive oil, garlic, nuts and cheese in our house but sometimes we like to keep it simple and omit the nuts and cheese like we have here today with this basil garlic dressing but you can turn it into a pesto very easily.

**Note** You can also add Pine nuts, Walnuts or Almonds along with Parmigiano-Reggiano if you want to make this a pesto.

How To Make Basil Garlic Cubes
  • Put all ingredients in the food processor and whiz it around until it comes together. If you need to add more olive oil do so from the top until it comes together like an oatmeal consistency.
  • Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and spoon fill the tin with the mixture. Cover it with plastic wrap and put it into the freezer.
  • Once solid run a plastic knife around the edges and pop the basil disk out.

There you have it, a fresh basil disk ready to go into the freezer for future use. I don’t know how long these will last in the freezer as this is the first year I’ve made them.

Update 2013: We’ve used these all year long and have had no problems with them so far. I’m expecting they will last for a while but in our house we use so much of it that it will be gone before we know it.

What to make with basil pesto?

Here is what we made for dinner but you can easily add these cubes to make your favourite salad dressing to get the freshest flavours available to you especially when prices rise over the winter months in the grocery stores.

We love to eat a fresh basil and garlic pasta so this recipe below will knock your socks off if basil is one of your favourite herbs.

Mr.CBB’s Basil Garlic Pesto with Baby Shrimp and Mushrooms

  • Boil 1 500g package of Pasta al dente
  • Add 1.5 cups of Basil Pesto (make as above in processor but add 1 cup of Almonds, 1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley and 1/2 cup of Parmigiano- Reggiano *Note you may need to add a bit more extra virgin olive oil as it purées.
  • In  a separate frying pan sauté mushrooms and baby shrimp with the tails off in a tablespoon of olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper
  • When the pasta is done reserve 1 cup of pasta water
  • Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • Add the pesto to the past and stir adding in pasta water a little at a time to help it all come together.  *Note- you may not need all the water
  • Top with your favourite cheese and enjoy!

Taste= AMAZING and the colour is so green and vibrant from the basil, parsley and garlic. You can smell the freshness of the ingredients. A must try and super easy to make and won’t hurt the budget.

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Stuff this! Mr.CBB’s Green Stuffed Peppers on Mash! $2 each Meal

Stuffed Green Peppers In Marinara On Mash

My wife and I started making these Stuffed green peppers after watching her mother in the kitchen. Her mom is a great cook but one who never measures.. you know- a little of this, a little of that. Ay! What happens to her recipes, they taste great. I have no idea how some cooks work their magic with no recipe but it works.

Although we would love to stir up some magic in the kitchen we needed a recipe. So after watching and learning we took to our own test kitchen and proceeded to cook. You can use any colour pepper to make this easy stuffed pepper recipe, we chose green.

After many trials our green stuffed peppers are now perfected! They stand tall on a nice slathering of mashed potatoes, surrounded by a sweet basil, garlic marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella and Parmigianno Reggiano.

I can assure you there won’t be any left when you are done making this recipe.

For the vegetarians if you want to make this a meatless stuffed pepper you can simply omit the meat and continue on with the rest of the menu as it can be just as hearty. I would likely add in an extra cup of rice and lentils for each pound of meat.

Don’t be shocked if your neighbour knocks on the door and asks to borrow some milk just to be nosey. Everyone on the street will want to know what’s cooking in YOUR house!

Mr.CBB’s Stuffed Green Peppers
  • Prep Time:1 hour
  • Cook Time: Sauce 30 mins marinara
  • Cook Time Stuffed Peppers:2 hours at 350 degree pre-heated oven
  • Yield- 10 huge Stuffed Peppers dripping with love!
Cost To Make Green Stuffed Peppers
  • Cost per Stuffed Pepper Meal per person-$2.00 each
  • Cost for us to make this Meal: Approx $20.00 including mashed potatoes and marinara
  • Peppers x 10 were on the reduced rack $1.59 pack of 5~ There was NOT one thing wrong with these HUGE peppers!
  • Meat was in the reduced section minced chicken $2.00 pack
  • Sausages were also reduced $1.50 pack of 6
  • All other ingredients were purchased on sale.

This recipe will cost more if you buy all your ingredients at regular price. 

Serve with: Your favourite mashed potato recipe and a nice glass of red wine

Green Stuffed Peppers On Mash

Ingredients For Green pepper Stuffing

Tools: 17x12x3 roasting pan or deep baking pan

  • 10 large green peppers
  • 3 hot Italian sausages
  • 1.5 lbs of ground beef (mince), chicken, veal, turkey (whatever ground you like) – we chose chicken for this recipe
  • 1 cup of  dry red lentils- cooked
  • 2 cups of cooked rice- (this is about 1 cup dry) We used basmati or you can use Arborio rice
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 1 medium carrot chopped
  • 1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs (you can buy these seasoned or simply make them yourself with day old bread in the processor and season with Italian seasoning)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigianno Reggiano
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese- for tops of peppers
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground fresh pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons parsley (fresh or dry)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of chili flakes ( optional)
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons basil (fresh or dry)
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • Olive oil to rub peppers
  • Olive oil to top off peppers

First things first let’s get the marinara, rice and lentils on the go! Boil your lentils until soft but not mushy(10 mins on med heat) drain and rinse them and let cool.

  • Add your rice in the rice cooker (about 1 cup dry rice is enough) If you don’t have a rice cooker you will have to do it the old-fashioned way on the stove top or lastly use Instant (which I don’t prefer)
Let’s get the Marinara on the go as well!
Marinara Recipe
Or you can use my  Pasta Sauce Recipe either or is good.
Ingredients
  • 2 750ml cans of diced tomatoes
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Basil
  • 2 tablespoons Oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley
  • 1 chicken cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 cup of celery chopped
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Chopped pepper tops (optional- see below)
Preparation
  • In a medium pot add the oil, garlic and onions, carrot,celery, sauté for 2 minutes on high.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 30 mins to 1 hour on medium to low, stirring often.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste- I usually put a tablespoon of each
  • I know it looks like a lot of ingredients but it’s not that bad. Most ingredients are common household staples.

  • Wash your peppers, dry them off
  • Cut the top off each pepper and clean out the inside of the pepper ( save those tops in a container for another meal or chop them up and throw them in your marinara like I did)
  • Cut the bottom of the pepper ever so slightly to give it a flat base to sit on in the baking pan

  • I then rub them with some Olive Oil  and sit them in the pan
Preparing the Stuffing!

In a large bowl add the following ingredients then mix until combined

  • Ground mince
  • Cut open the 3 sausages and put the meat in discard the casing
  • Bread crumbs
  • Eggs
  • Carrots, onions, celery, garlic
  • All seasoning’s including salt and pepper
  • Rice
  • Lentils
  • Parmigiano cheese
How To Stuff Green Peppers
  • I take the peppers out of the pan and set them on a cutting board
  • At the bottom of the pan put a nice layer of that marinara sauce you made earlier
  • Take one of the peppers and stuff it to the top, then continue to do this and sit them in the pan until they are all stuffed- If you have left over stuffing just toss it in the pan around the peppers in the sauce!
  • Drizzle Olive oil on each pepper just a little so they don’t burn
  • Put uncovered in your pre-heated oven for 30 mins to brown the tops and give the peppers a nice roast
  • Take them out and check to see if your sauce is drying up if so I add a bit of boiling water to the sauce to loosen it up.
  • After 30 mins and adding some hot water to the sauce in the pan I cover the pan with tin foil for the remaining time.
  • Every 30 mins I take the peppers out to check the sauce liquidity
  • After 2 hours the meat should be thoroughly cooked
  • Take the peppers out of the oven top with mozzarella and a sprinkle of Parmigiano if you like
  • Pop back in the oven uncovered until melted
  • Serve HOT!

There are different types of stuffed pepper recipes but this is the BEST! Enjoy.

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