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.

 

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Slow-Cooker Hobo Stew

We affectionately call this hobo stew because it’s not fancy food and, to us, that’s the best kind.  My son loves this stew so much he requested it for his birthday dinner last year.  What kind of 7-year-old requests beef and vegetable stew for his birthday?!  Mine apparently.  He eats salads without being forced, as well.  He’s a good eater, that kid.

salt_20180908_193945_519I love to prep this at night and put it in the crockpot in the morning before work.  Nothing like walking in the door to have a home-cooked meal waiting for us.

My slow-cooker (this one!) has a stovetop setting, which is nice because I can brown the meat in the slow-cooker itself.  No extra dirty pans!

My favorite way to serve this is with cornbread crumbled and stirred right in.  If you’re a purist, it’s also good all by itself!  Enjoy!  ~Erin

Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1 ½ lb. peeled and diced potatoes
  • 12 oz. baby carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 (15 or 16 oz.) can whole kernel sweet corn
  • 2 (15 or 16 oz. each) cans cut green beans
  • 32 oz. box of fat free beef stock
  • 2 T. beef bouillon granules
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 T. flour
  • ½ T. cornstarch
  • 1 envelope (about 4 T.) dry Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ to 1 T. seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Ingredients: 

  1. Brown the beef with the diced onion over medium heat.
  2. When the meat is no longer pink, add garlic and cook until fragrant (just about 30 seconds).
  3. Add the flour and cornstarch to the beef mixture; stir until combined.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer to the pot of your slow cooker, if needed.*
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot: potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, spices and soup mix, beef stock, bouillon, and water.
  6. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  7. Serve with cornbread or crackers, if desired.

*You can also cook this in a large pot on the stove. Simply bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (stirring occasionally) until the carrots and potatoes are fork-tender.

WW Freestyle Info: This recipe makes approximately 12 servings. Each 10 oz. serving (1 ¼ cups) is 5 points.

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Hamburger Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy

My husband loves beef.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that he’s a cattle rancher and was raised by cattle ranchers, or maybe it’s just a man thing.  Whatever the reason, he loves a good steak or burger.  Stands to reason that he would love this hamburger steak.  And he does.  We all do.  I’ve been making it for years and it always hits the spot!  Seasoned hamburger steak, smothered in caramelized onion brown gravy, and served over mashed potatoes… it’s country cooking at its finest.  ~Erin

Hamburger Steak with Caramelized Onion Gravy

Ingredients:
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 T. light butter (I use Land O’ Lakes Light)
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 T. dehydrated onion flakes
  • 1 tsp. dry ground mustard
  • 1 tsp. Wyler’s beef granules (or one crushed beef bouillon cube)
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T. ketchup
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt
  • ¼ c. Progresso garlic & herb seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 (0.87 oz.) package reduced sodium brown gravy mix (I like McCormick brand.)
  • 2 T. dry Lipton Onion Soup & Dip Mix
  • 2 cups water

Instructions: 

  1. Thinly slice the onions (I use my mandolin slicer).
  2. In a medium sized skillet, melt 1 T. light butter over low heat and add onions; stir them to coat them with the butter.
  3. Cook the onions over low heat for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. You can let them cook while you prepare the rest of the recipe, just don’t forget to stir them once in a while. (If you are making mashed potatoes, now is a good time to start those boiling too.) If the onions start to look too dry, give them a quick spray with the olive oil cooking spray.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together ground beef, pepper, onion flakes, dry mustard, beef granules, Worcestershire, ketchup, seasoned salt, and seasoned breadcrumbs, until incorporated. Do not overmix.
  5. Divide into 4 patties. If you’d like to be precise, mine were exactly 4.6 ounces each.
  6. Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray and cook the patties over medium heat on each side until brown and cooked through; set aside.
  7. Clean any residual oil from the pan with a paper towel.
  8. Add the dry gravy packet and 2 T. onion soup mix; whisk in water.
  9. Bring the gravy to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately reduce heat to low.
  10. Add the caramelized onions and the hamburger patties to the gravy; simmer for 3-5 minutes until gravy is thickened and the meat is heated through.
  11. Serve over mashed potatoes.

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 4 servings. One hamburger steak patty with half a cup of onion gravy is 8 points.

Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

This is the easiest (and tastiest) unstuffed cabbage casserole ever.  Why?  No cabbage chopping/shredding required!  Instead, I take the short-cut of using bagged cole slaw mix to cut down on prep time. Ain’t nobody got time to hand-shred cabbage.  ~Erin

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Ingredients:

  • 2 bags (16 oz. each) tri-color cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage & carrots)
  • 1 ½ T. minced garlic, divided
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 ½ tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 ¼ tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 1 lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 cups shredded low moisture, part skim mozzarella
  • Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional

Instructions:

Cook brown rice according to package directions; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large, high-sided skillet, saute both bags of cole slaw mix in 1 T. olive oil until it’s wilted to about half its size (about ten minutes), stirring occasionally.  Add 1 ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper in the process of stirring.

Remove from the skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, cook the ground beef and onion with 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. pepper, and ½ T. minced garlic until browned; then drain beef.  

Add thyme, paprika, and oregano and cook until fragrant (about a minute).  Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.  

Add 2 cups cooked brown rice and stir to combine.  

Spray a 9×13 in. casserole dish with cooking spray.  Layer ingredients starting with half the coleslaw cabbage, then half the meat/tomato/rice mixture, and one cup cheese.  Repeat with the last half of cabbage, then meat/tomato/rice mixture but reserve the 2 cups of remaining cheese.

Bake for 25 or until hot and bubbly. Spread the top evenly with the remaining 2 cups of cheese.  Cook for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle each serving with red pepper flakes, if desired.

WW Freestyle Info.:  This makes 8 servings at 7 points each.