Posts Tagged ‘Tomato sauce’

Recently we were able to visit some high school friends who have moved within two hours of us. Happy! I sat in her kitchen flipping through one of her cookbooks as she prepared a meal for us and came across this recipe. Any recipe using zucchini always grabs my attention!  It looked easy with interesting flavor combinations, so I gave it a try. It’s a keeper!


simple ingredients!


3 cups diced and steamed zucchini, drained

4 oz. can diced green chilies

1 cup fresh or canned corn

2 cups tomato sauce (I used homemade salsa)

½ Tbl. chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon white vinegar

6 fresh corn tortillas, cut in fourths and fried ( I used 24 store-bought tortilla corn chips)

2 ½ cups grated cheddar (divided use)

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional toppings: sour cream/green onions


Chop zucchini. I used my vegetable chopper.


Quick and uniform pieces!

Steam the zucchini. I boiled the chopped zucchini in about a cup of water for 5 minutes or so. Drain well.

Combine the steamed zucchini with the next 8 ingredients and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. I used the same skillet that I used to steam the zucchini.


All thrown together!

Stir in the tortilla chips. I do not like to fry, so I used some store-bought tortilla chips. They worked fine!


crushed tortilla chips!

Spread into a lightly greased (or sprayed)  casserole dish. I doubled the recipe and filled a 9×13 glass baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until hot. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and continue to bake until cheese is melted.

If desired, serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions.


Sonora Casserole

I took this to a church dinner meeting, and it was devoured! People were very surprised that it contained zucchini. The southwest flavors were very obvious and delicious. I’m sure using salsa rather than plain tomato sauce added to the intensity of the flavors – in a good way! I’ll be making this fast and tasty dish again. You can never have too many ways to cook up zucchini!


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My husband loves stuffed bell peppers, so what to do with all these farm peppers was a no-brainer!

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion
2-3 pods of garlic
salt and pepper
2 cups of cooked rice
6-8 bell peppers

8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
A few drops Hot Sauce if desired


BROWN the ground beef and season with chopped onion, chopped garlic and salt and pepper.


Ground beef seasoned with onion and garlic.

Fold in the cooked rice. I learned this recipe from my Cajun mother-in-law, and she always uses white rice, but since I’ve been trying to use more brown rice, that’s what I used this time. I am so happy with Alton Brown’s method of cooking brown rice. It’s a no-fail method!


Perfectly cooked, fluffy brown rice every time!

There are 269 reviews to Alton’s method with some great ideas of “add ins” such as chicken and different spices. I follow the suggestion of using chicken broth instead of water and leaving out the salt. I usually double the recipe and freeze the left-overs in 2 cup portions.

PREPARE the peppers by cutting off the tops and scooping out the seeds and membranes.



I chopped up the tops and froze to use later.

BLANCH the bell peppers for one minute. This makes them more pliable when stuffing and helps them bake up nice and tender.


Blanch the peppers to make them pliable for stuffing.

Stuff the beef/rice mixture into the blanched bell peppers. I begin by filling them ¾ full and then add more if there is mixture left over.


Mix up the tomato sauce topping and spoon over the top of each pepper.


Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Enjoy now, or cool and then freeze to enjoy later!


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