I love to cook fun, creative, fancy things for dinner. However, when it comes to lunch I am usually like “meh…let’s make a salad or eat leftovers.” My inspiration is usually more for evening dinners. That was always the one meal that was a big deal at my house growing up. Everybody had their own thing going on during the day, some of us were in school or had jobs, others were sleeping in and wouldn’t even come upstairs till after noon…so ma would just make us a sammich or warm up some of last nights left overs. However, dinner was different. Mamma would slave away in the kitchen, sometimes for hours, and as soon as dad got home from working hard all day, she’d wrap it up, dad would stick his pinkies in his mouth and whistle so loud you could hear it no matter where you were and we would all come running to the dinner table. Everything else stopped when it was dinner time, and we would all be together and enjoy a HUGE tasty meal. That attitude has kind of carried on through me!!! However, every now and then I find myself being bothered
Needless to say, when I do create a lunch that is fantastic…something more fun and creative than a roast beef sammich on Ezekiel bread or a grilled Chicken salad…I get SO excited! That is what this recipe was!! Pure excitement!! Something fun for lunch, or snacks, or even a healthier party alternative!!! YAAAAAY!!! You could even make it for dinner too! I just adored not only the flavors, but the colors! I love making things with a taco-y flavor that are decently healthy, because my husband is in love with tacos but doesn’t get them often any more because of our new lifestyle goals. This made him happy, as you will see in the pictures below! 🙂 The only reason I do not feel like I can claim that these are perfectly healthy is because I used refried beans to hold all the ingredients together. Apparently they have lard in them, haha. Funny thing is…we don’t really mind animal fat…but just the fact that they are called reFRIED beans tells me something. If you want to be better you can skip them, your ingredients may just fall out of your bell pepper “chips” easier. 🙂 Read on!!
Inspired by tasteofhome.com.
So, here’s what you need:
- A Bell Pepper of each color (Red, Yellow, Orange, Green)
- 1 Jalapeno
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1-2 C Cheddar, Shredded
- 1 Recipe Taco Seasoning
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1/2 Can Refried Beans (If anyone has a good home made recipe, please share!!)
- Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- Toppings (Optional…we didn’t use any but I can imagine salsa, guacamole, and sour cream would be tasty!)
And here’s how you do it!
- Preheat broiler.
- Mix together your taco seasoning mix. Alternately, you can use a packet. It is a little easier, but less healthy I do believe. And you can’t adjust it to your own tastes. I like it that when you make your own you can make it as spicy or mild as you want, and I always add extra cumin. 🙂
- Brown your beef and drain excess fat. Return to burner and season with taco seasoning. I would start with 2-3 Tbsp, and adjust to your tastes after that. Add a small amount of water, stir, and let simmer. (Do not add as much water as you would for a packet, unless you plan to add flour or something to thicken it.) Set aside until the rest of your prep is done. You can keep it on low on the burner if you want. 🙂
- Cut your bell pepper into 1-2 inch chunks. I will show you how I did this in my pictures, mine turned out kind of like scoops! I cut my peppers into halves, then 1/4, then cut each 1/4 in half short ways, then trimmed off the ribs and seeds. It will make more sense with the pictures. 😉
- Chop your jalapeno, tomatoes, and cilantro.
- Place your bell pepper “chips” out on a foil lined cookie sheet.
- Spread a layer of refried beans in the bottom of each bell pepper piece.
- Place a small spoonful of taco meat on top of refried beans and gently press it into the beans.
- Top with tomatoes, jalapeno, and cheddar.
- Place under broiler until cheese has melted, and everything is heated through.
- Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
- Serve, and enjoy!! Super fun, super tasty…feels like you are eating naughty junk food…but really, you aren’t doing too bad! 😉
Let me know what you think. What would you put on bell pepper chips?!
First, mix up your taco seasoning! Feel free to adjust the heat, this recipe is a little more spicy than the packet so if you like it more mild, either omit the red pepper flakes or cut out part of the chili powder. You can always add heat later!!
Put your beef in a pan and get it browning!! Drain the excess fat…
Season with taco seasoning to your own tastes, start with a couple Tablespoons, then taste and adjust 🙂 Add a small amount of water and let it cook down. Don’t add tons of water because it won’t thicken quite like a taco seasoning packet, unless you add flour of course. Set aside until you are ready to use!
Now start your veggie prep! Isn’t that a pretty picture?!
You don’t have to cut your bell pepper “chips” exactly how I did…but this is one way to do it if you feel lost! First, cut it in half…
Then into fourths…
Then cut each fourth into half short ways…aka across the width.
Now remove the ribs and seeds and look! You have scoops!! Yaaaaaay scoops!!
Now for the layer of refried beans!! Lookin tasty already!
Add a small spoonful of beef to each, and smoosh it down into the beans a bit. Top with tomatoes, jalapenos, and cheddar!
Now slide it into your oven and broil for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through!! Now you have bell pepper nachos, yaaaaaay!!
Sooooo tasty! Make sure to sprinkle with cilantro….I forgot until we had already eaten 3/4 of them and I was so upset!
Now go serve them nachos to a cutie like this!!
Hahhahaaaa…..I just love that man!! He loves nachos!!! He gives this recipe two thumbs up!