Simple meals. Isn’t that what we all are looking for at this time of year?
School, sports, activities, kids, homework, work. . . it can be a challenge to get a meal on the table some nights. For us this year Wednesday is total chaos night. Buddy and Princess have play rehearsal after school from 3:15-5, then Buddy has soccer practice from 5:30-7 followed by Boyscouts from 7-8. Their bedtime is usually between 8:30 and 9:00, so that’s a packed schedule! For my part Wednesdays I frequently have meetings and/or a lesson in town, so I’m not exactly hanging out at home with tons of time to cook.
So I need to have some convenient, quick, tasty and inexpensive (because hell0–FRUGAL) meals up my sleeve for these busy nights. Sometimes I plan ahead and get a meal going in the crockpot, or have planned leftovers from earlier in the week. Other times it all kind of sneaks up on me–and that’s when convenience foods come to the rescue.
Walmart knows families are busy, so they created a new resource–their Simple Meals site. They asked me to create a new recipe based on one of their Simple Meals–I decided to take the Super Sized Sloppy Joes and change it up into Easy Chicken and Rice Stuffed Peppers!
Now long time readers know that usually I’m a from scratch kind of girl. But scratch can take some time–especially when all your meat is frozen solid in the deep freeze 🙂 That happens far more frequently than I’d like to admit. I do keep some convenience items on hand for quick meals-things that are very shelf stable that I can store for a long time so that even if I don’t use them often, they are there when I need them.
For these Easy Chicken and Rice Stuffed Peppers I pulled out the following items from my pantry from Walmart: Rice-a-Roni Spanish Rice, Hunt’s Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce, and Great Value Chunk Chicken Breast. The only other thing I need (besides water and a bit of butter) is a few nice green peppers.
So here’s how you make Chicken and Rice stuff peppers. Start out by making the Rice-a-Roni by the package directions, but with one substitution and one addition. Instead of adding the can of diced tomatoes the directions call for, pour in the can of Manwich, and once it’s come to a boil and has been cut back to a simmer, stir in your drained can of chicken.
While the rice dish is doing it’s whole 15 minutes of simmering, go ahead and boil a pot of water and preheat the oven to 350. Cut your peppers in half, clean out the stem, seeds and ribs, and then cook them for 3 minutes in the boiling water. Drain them and set them aside to cool.
Grease a baking dish, place the pepper halves inside, and spoon the chicken and rice mixture inside. Bake for 15 minutes at 350.
If you want you could sprinkle some melted cheese over the top of these stuffed peppers. Mmmm.<
While stuffed peppers are a fairly complete meal, I like to pump up the nutritional value a bit by adding more veggies. Birds Eye sells some great vegetable mixtures that you can warm up in just minutes in the microwave. Personally I like the Broccoli Stir Fry Mix–sure, it’s supposed to be mixed in with some meat and sauce, but you can just use it as a nice combination of delicious vegetables!
While this meal isn’t instant–you do have to spend a bit of time simmering the rice mixture and baking the peppers–the hands on time is very short. You can get things going, then check the kids homework, spoon the filling in, pop it in the oven, set the table and before you know it dinner is done.
Looking for some more great Simple Meals for busy nights? The Walmart Moms have you covered:
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.