Taco Poblanos

After a long day with Zoom meetings sprinkled throughout for everybody (which is, I’ll go ahead ahead and tell you as a 100% biased mama, super cute for Kindergarten) the last thing I want to do is cook a complicated meal.  Is “Zoom fatigue” an official thing yet?  Just me?

Anyway, who doesn’t love all forms of tacos?  Whether you’re reducing carbs, going full Keto, or you’re like me and just love peppers, this really easy taco recipe is just what your taco repertoire needs. ~Robin

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A poblano is a really large, slightly sweet pepper, especially once it’s roasted so you’re not going to get a ton of heat, but they can still have a little heat once roasted.  It’s a good idea to use gloves when you’re handling them raw.  In this case, since the meat will be cooked and you’ll just be heating everything together, you’re going to roast the peppers first.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (97% fat free)
  • 1 packet of your favorite taco seasoning
  • 1.5 avocados
  • 3 oz. low fat Colby Jack or Mexi-blend cheese (I prefer Colby Jack because its flavor is a little bolder)
  • Pam cooking spray

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash and cut the peppers in half length-wise so you have two pretty equal halves.  Remove the stem from whichever side it ends up on.
  3. Place the halves open side down in an oven-safe skillet, spraying the top of the peppers with cooking spray well.
  4. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until the skin of the peppers begins to blister quite a bit.
  5. Remove skillet from the oven carefully and set aside.
  6. On medium heat in a separate skillet, cook your beef, seasoning with taco seasoning using instructions on the seasoning packet.
  7. Flip the peppers over in the oven-safe skillet so they’re open on top.  The spoon in about 1/8 of the beef into each pepper half.  They may flatten a little but they’ll still hold the contents.
  8. Wash, then cut your avocado in half, lengthwise.  Remove the pit.  Then cube in about ½” sized cubes.
  9. Sprinkle the avocado chunks across the tacos fairly evenly.
  10. Finally, sprinkle with your cheese evenly and return to the oven.
  11. You’re just going to roast these again until they’re heated through well and the cheese is nice and melted – around 8-10 minutes but keep an eye on them.
  12. Serve with your favorite salsa.

WW info:  Makes 8 poblano tacos – On Green, Blue, or Purple:  1 taco = 3 points; 2 = 7 points; 3 = 10 points.

 

Barry’s Secret Ingredient Chili

I have always thought chili was just fine…something great to throw on some Fritos or a hot dog.  I had no idea how much I could love it.  This one is in my top three favorite meals ever, period.  And to his credit, this is my husband’s recipe.  He has tweaked and played with this recipe, then tweaked it a little more over the years to get it juuuust right.  As you’ll see from the ingredients, it does not skimp in flavor.  I seriously don’t even put cheese in this chili (and I’m a cheese fanatic) because I don’t want to do anything to distract from its awesomeness.

And yes, I’m revealing the secret ingredient. You would never, ever know that this chili has oats from the flavor or texture, but it adds just enough of a thickening agent to make this even heartier, making it less like a soup and more like, well, chili!  It’s been a hit at chili cook-offs for years now, and I’m finally sharing it with you as we approach Superbowl Sunday.  Bonus — this can feed a crowd inexpensively, and your party (or you Tuesday – whenever) just won’t be the same without it!  ~Robin

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  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 T., plus one tsp. chili powder
  • 2 T. cumin
  • 1 T., plus 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 lg. can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans light red kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained
  • ½ c. quick oats, uncooked
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground Cayenne pepper (adjusting up or down depending on your spice preference)
  • 1 – 2 tsp. salt (Start with one tsp. and adjust to taste in ¼ tsp increments – it’s a lot of food so you may end up going to 2 tsp.)

In a large stock pot, cook ground beef, onions, and garlic on medium heat. Once beef is cooked and any fat drained, add all other ingredients and continue to cook on medium heat until heated thoroughly and has had a chance for the flavors to blend.  It just gets better and better leftover (I keep it in my fridge for up to three days).  It does freeze very well; I recommend freezing it in small, individual microwave-safe containers so you can grab a serving to take for lunch anytime over the next six months.

WW Info:  4 points/cup on green (9 pts for 2 cups), 1 point/cup on blue (2 points for 1.75, 3 points for 2 cups), and 1 point/cup on purple (2 points for 1.75, 3 points for 2 cups)

Orange Ginger Beef

As a teacher and busy mom, I don’t have time to cook all evening.  There are papers to grade and kids who need help with homework.  So, now that school has started back, I’m all about meals I can prepare in a short period of time.  This Orange Beef is one of my favorite week-night meals.  It can be on the table in less than 30 minutes… really more like 15, including the time it takes to slice the steak.  Plus, the Asian flavors hit the spot on a night I’m tempted to pick up Chinese take-out on the way home from work.  Fake-out take-out at its best!  ~Erin

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  • 1 lb. New York strip steaks, trimmed and cut into small strips
  • 3 thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste
  • Zest of half a navel orange
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ T. canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ T. sesame oil
  • 2 T. packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. corn starch
  • 2 T. water
  • ¼ c. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 T. unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
  • Optional: crushed red pepper flakes, additional sliced scallions; for garnish
  • Prepared rice or cauliflower rice*, for serving

In a medium bowl, mix beef strips with thinly sliced scallions, ginger paste, orange zest, and salt and pepper until evenly coated.

Heat canola and sesame oil together in a large skillet over medium high heat.

When the skillet is very hot, add the beef and cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally.

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar with the corn starch.  Once combined, whisk in the water, fresh-squeezed orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and soy sauce.

Add the mixture to the skillet with the beef; simmer on medium high until thickened, 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice or cauliflower rice; garnish with crushed red pepper flakes and sliced scallions, if desired.

*I find cauliflower rice to have the best flavor when sautéed in a nonstick skillet, using a few sprays of nonstick cooking spray.  Keep the lid on until it thaws, if using frozen.

WW Freestyle Info.:  This recipe makes 4 servings.  Each serving is 10 SmartPoints, not including rice.