Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

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  • 3/4 lb ground beef (I prefer organic / grass fed) $8
  • 3 bell peppers (any color will do, green is least expensive) $3
  • 1 half yellow onion, chopped $.75
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped  $.10
  • 1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce  $2.50
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • Dash of black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning low sodium  $1
  • 1 box mexican rice low sodium  $1.50
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup Colby jack cheese  $1
  • 1 tbs cilantro (optional)  $.10

Total: $17.95


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook rice according to instructions on box, set aside
  2. While rice is cooking, brown the ground beef, onion and garlic. Make sure you break the beef into very fine pieces. Add in taco seasoning, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Stir 3 minutes
  3. Add in water and stir 1 minute. Add half of a 10 oz can of enchilada sauce and stir. Combine with ¾ cup cooked rice. Bring to bowl then let simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  4. While mixture is cooking cut off the tops of each bell pepper and pull out seeds / stems. Place in a baking dish and microwave for 5 minutes. You may notice they produce some “water” after cooking, I just dumped this in the sink.
  5. Now you’re ready to stuff—fill up each pepper halfway with beef and rice mixture and put a tablespoon of cheese, then fill to top with beef and rice mixture. Top each pepper with a mound of cheese then put 1 tablespoon or so of enchilada sauce on top.
  6. Baked covered with foil for 25 minutes. During the last 2 minutes uncover turn the heat up to broil to brown the cheese a little. Top with sprinkled cilantro if you please!

Based on my previous post (which was far too long ago, I apologize), can you tell what my favorite genre of food is? That’s right- Mexican. Unfortunately it’s never easy to find Mexican recipes that are easy on the waistline yet still satisfying at the same time. Well..search no longer because I think I made one up last night!

I was seriously craving comforting, cheesy enchiladas but I didn’t want my hard work at barre class to be completely cancelled out. I had some leftover ground beef in my fridge that I needed to use up along with some shredded Colby jack cheese. With this in mind I headed down to the store and pushed myself to be creative. It would have been too easy to head straight for the flour tortillas but instead I went to the produce section and saw tons of green bell peppers on sale. If you were having company I would get a variety of colors but honestly, don’t they all pretty much taste the same? Green bell peppers are so much cheaper! I guess if you’re seeking a wow factor though, go with multicolor.

In this recipe I used a box of Knorr Mexican rice and I would strongly suggest looking for a variety that is low sodium. When you combine this with all the other ingredients such as taco seasoning you will find that you definitely don’t need to add extra salt! Also, remember that cheese often has plenty of that salty taste you love.

I nuked my peppers in the microwave for about five minutes in the same pyrex I baked them in – this is a crucial step to ensure the peppers are edible and not too hard. These are super irresistible and filling on your own but you could definitely do a side such as canned vegetarian refried beans (less cals in these) OR chips and homemade guac! I can also tell you these keep well in the fridge for the next day—I would know, I ate mine cold the next day for lunch!

Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas


It’s almost fall. Can you believe it!? Where on earth has 2013 gone? I’m very sad about saying farewell to rosé wine, white jeans and tank tops, but am so looking forward to the delicious delicacies of the season. I can almost taste Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. In celebration of the slight change in temperature, I thought I would offer a transitional recipe combining some of my favorite ingredients: cheese, kale and butternut squash.

Everyone who follows this blog is aware of my kale obsession. I didn’t jump on the kale bandwagon two years ago when some Iron Chef decided to make it popular. I’ve been eating the stuff since college. Besides being cheap and easy to cook its also incredibly good for you. Packed with nutrients, it’s rich in vitamins C and K as well as beta carotene. Kale also contains a chemical called sulforaphane, which has potent anti-cancer properties.

Let’s talk about squash. If you don’t like butternut squash, or any squash for that matter, then I think you are crazy. Butternut and Spaghetti are my favorite varieties, but I’d rank B-nut as number one. If it exists, I think I could eat a Gerber baby food jar of butternut squash, I’m not kidding. Is that weird? No but seriously, I think butternut squash contains some sort of dopamine-elevating drug similar to chocolate.

Finally, there’s cheese. I don’t even know where to begin. So I’ll just stop here…some things are just better left unsaid.


Serves 4

  • 1/2 whole Butternut Squash, seeded, peeled, chopped ($2.50)
  • 1 tbs olive oil ($.10)
  • 2 tbs butter ($.10)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder ($.05)
  • 1 bunch Kale leaves, torn ($2.00)
  • 8 flour tortillas ($2.00)
  • 1 tbs Butter For Frying
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese ($2.50)
  • Sour Cream For Serving ($.50)

Total: $9.75


Heat 1 tbs butter and oil. Add B-nut squash and season with chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until squash is deep golden brown and tender. Remove and set aside.

Melt 1tbs butter over medium-high heat and add in the kale. Toss and cook it for 4 minutes. Add in the cooked squash and gently toss together. Set aside.

In a separate skillet, melt additional butter and lightly brown 1 quesadilla. Add a layer of cheese topped with a layer of the squash/kale mixture, topped with a second tortilla.

Brown the quesadilla on both sides, adding more butter to the pan if needed to ensure the proper crunch and golden color.

When the cheese is melted, remove each quesadilla from the skillet and cut it into four wedges.

You will end up with four quesadillas. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.



Poorlittlerichcook Launch Party


I love to entertain and I obviously love to cook. Combine the two and I’m happier than a pig in mud. Given the fact I started this blog recently I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to host a launch party and introduce my recipes to a live audience. I mentioned the idea to my friend Steve, a fellow chef, and within minutes we were party planning (on a yacht of all places, pinch me). We decided on upscale Mexican– flank steak fajitas, shrimp and avocado ceviche, guacamole from scratch, and black bean and corn salad. Don’t worry we didn’t forget the booze. I made my fresh, key lime margaritas with agave nectar and sauvignon blanc sangria.


My apartment was eliminated because it’s 900 square feet and I have an incredibly angry downstairs neighbor. Whenever I decide to move out of this place I am throwing an all-night rager just to spite him. And buying pogo sticks for all my guests. Anyway, Steve’s house is definitely bigger than mine but with the guest list growing, we were in need of a much bigger space.  Luckily, Steve’s friend Chip graciously agreed to let us use his beautiful Georgetown home for our guests and let me tell you, this place was made for entertaining. Soaring ceilings, atrium that leads to an outdoor patio, rooftop deck, the list goes on. Totally chic and sophisticated, yet still has that warm and historic Georgetown feel.

I’m definitely a planner. Everything has to be organized, the menu has to be perfect, guest list finalized and the food prepped ahead of time. Planning a party for a large amount of people is all about the time leading up to the event. I would have an absolute panic attack if I did all my grocery shopping the day of and didn’t prep my food until the doorbell rang. As a hostess, it’s best to be calm, cool and collected when your guests arrive so that you don’t look like a chicken with your head cut off. Wellllllll…we ended up getting a late start. We made the mistake of buying frozen shrimp that were not peeled or de-veined–do you know how long it takes to peel and devein 4 pounds of shrimp? I delegated that task along with some others– like juicing 8 oranges, 8 limes and 8 lemons. Oh and seeding and chopping tomatoes (thanks Gordon).

Here's me trying to look calm
Here’s me trying to look calm

Luckily most guests arrived fashionably late, about an hour after we told them to come. Phew! I put out some apps, tortilla chips and of course the sangria to keep everyone happy while we started the fajitas. When the party really started hoppin’ the meat was just about ready to come off the grill and the onions and peppers were done– perfect timing. We ended up having a great turnout, about 50 guests, and everyone seemed very pleased with the food. Hooray! Success. I can’t wait to try this again. Below you can find all my recipes (ceviche was from a previous post that you can find here) Oh and don’t worry, I scaled all the recipes down from 50 to 4 servings.

Flank Steak Fajitas

Serves 4


  • 1 pound flank steak ($8.00)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil ($2.00)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce ($.10)
  • 1 garlic clove ($.02)
  • 2 scallions, cut in 1/2 ($.05)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice ($.05)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes ($.05)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin ($.05)
  • 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar ($.03)
  • Salt and Pepper to season steak
  • 2 bell peppers (green or orange) and 1 large white onion, cut into strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (for the peppers and onions)

Total: $10.35

Trim fat from flank steak and season generously with salt and pepper. Combine the rest of the ingredients in pyrex baking dish large enough for the steak. Marinate steak for 6-8 hours in refrigerator. Pull steak out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you are ready to grill. Grill on medium-high heat until steak reaches desired temperature.

While you’re grilling the steak start your peppers and onions in cast iron skillet with vegetable oil. They will take about 12 minutes to cook. Put steak on a platter and let it REST at least 10 minutes. Carve steak against the grain and serve with sauteed peppers and onions on flour tortillas. Top with your favorites– cheese, sour cream, salsa, guac, etc.



Serves 4


  • 3 ripe avocados (cut them in half, pop out the seed and scoop out the green part) ($3.50)
  • Juice of 1 lime ($.20)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin ($.05)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper ($.05)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced finely ($.25)
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced finely ($.10)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced($.50)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped ($.10)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($.05)

Total: $4.80


Mash avocado with the black of fork, squeeze lime juice over avocado and combine all ingredients. Mash to your desired consistency– I like to keep mine a bit chunky. Pro-tip: Keep the seed in the bowl you are serving in while it’s in the fridge. Also cover tightly with saran wrap. This will keep the guac from browning before you serve! Remove the seed when ready to dig in and serve with tortilla chips.


Black Bean and Corn Salad

Serves 4


  • 1 (8 oz) can Rotel tomatoes & chilies ($1.00)
  • 1 (8 oz) can yellow corn ($.85)
  • 1/2 (8 oz) can black beans ($.85)
  • 1/2 (4 oz) can green chilies ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion ($.50)
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • chili powder, to taste
  • cumin, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro ($.50)
  • Juice of 1 lime ($.20)
Total: $4.90
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir and refrigerate for 1 hour. Yes, it’s that easy.

White Sangria

Serves 4
  • 1/2 cup hot water (free)
  • 1/2 cup sugar ($.20)
  • 750 ml Sauvignon Blanc ($3.99– use the cheap stuff)
  • 3/4 cup brandy ($6.00)
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds ($.20)
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds ($.50)
  • 1/2 pineapple cut into chunks ($2.00)
  • 2 cups club soda ($1.00)
  • 1 cup raspberries ($2.00)

Total: $15.89


In large pitcher or other container combine the hot water and sugar. Stir with a whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add in the wine, brandy, lime, orange and pineapple. Put in the fridge at least 3 hours. Before serving, add in 2 cups of club soda and raspberries.


Key Lime Margaritas

Serves 1


  • 1/4 cup fresh Key lime juice (I use Nellie and Joe’s) ($.50)
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar ($.25)
  • 3 tablespoons silver tequila ($.50)
  • 1 tablespoon Triple Sec ($.20)

Total: $1.45


Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake vigorously with ice. Serve on the rocks with salt on the rim.