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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Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

My daughter turns 11 this week. She’s just like I was as a kid in that she starts planning her next birthday celebration the minute her previous birthday ends. I have to put the kibosh on some of her wild hair ideas but I try to always allow one or two. This year we are taking her and a few of her friends to the zoo and she wants to go dressed as unicorns. Yes, unicorns. I ordered unicorn horns as party favors and she’s created unicorn shirts, complete with rainbow colored tails attached. Good thing she’s crafty.

She also wants a 3 layer cookie cake. Not a plain cookie cake. A sugar cookie cake with 3 layers, frosting between, and sprinkles. It’s a little unexpected (as usual) but honestly it sounds divine so, challenge accepted. (I’m sure you’ll be seeing that soft sugar cookie recipe here on the blog soon. I got it from Kathy and it’s THE BEST. Keep your eyes open for it.)

She also requested this Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry for her birthday. Just kidding, that’s a lie. Hahaha, she’s 11, she wants pizza. Surprisingly though, as my more picky child, she actually will eat this stir fry. I know that doesn’t sound like a glowing recommendation but I promise it is. She usually turns up her nose at vegetables mixed in with meat. Not this one. She mostly eats the broccoli and chicken out, but I ain’t complaining if she eats it at all! My son likes it but he eats like a grown up. Anybody else out there have a picky eater? (All the moms raise their hands.) There’s one in every family.

This stir fry is one of our mom’s creations. Mom has always liked to create new recipes, and this is one she came up with not long ago and shared with us at one of our visits to her house. I immediately asked for the recipe. Thanks, Momma! It’s made with basic ingredients but is packed with flavor… spicy without being hot, and has a hint of salty sweetness as well. What can I say, our mom knows how to cook! ~Erin

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Ingredients:

  • 8 T. red pepper jelly (found in the jelly isle)
  • 4 T. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • ½ tsp. ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • Seasoning of your choice for chicken (I used a prepackaged Asian seasoning but salt, pepper, and garlic powder would be fine too.)
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 T. garlic, minced or pressed (I use pre-minced jarred garlic)
  • 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 red, and 1 green bell pepper, deseeded sliced into strips
  • 2 small heads of broccoli (about 3 cups), cut into small florets; discard stems
  • 2 ½ T. sesame oil or olive oil, divided
  • Prepared rice, red pepper flakes, chopped green onions, and/or more soy sauce for serving (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together red pepper jelly, soy sauce, and ginger; set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 T. oil over medium high heat. Cook the seasoned chicken a few minutes on each side, until lightly browned and cooked through; remove from pan and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, heat 1 T. oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until onions are tender and becoming translucent (about 5-6 minutes, stirring often).
  4. Increase heat to medium and add ½ T. more oil. Add all the bell peppers and cook until they start to get tender.
  5. Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender but not overly soft.
  6. Add the cooked chicken & sauce to the pan with the veggies; cook & stir until evenly coated & heated throughout.
  7. Serve over rice with more soy sauce if desired.

WW Freestyle Info.:  This recipe makes 8 servings. Each 1 ½ cups serving is 4 points, not including rice.

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Italian Turkey Sausage & Pepper Pasta

I’ve been making this for years…since before we had kids. In fact, when we were first married, we lived near a Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurant and went there often. My husband always ordered a “Skilletini” which is a tomato based pasta dish served with peppers, onions, & sausage, much like this one. Maybe that’s why we love this so much. It reminds us of our newly-wed date nights. It was a favorite then and it’s a favorite now in our own home. ~Erin

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Ingredients:

8 oz. uncooked whole wheat penne pasta

1 ¼ lb. turkey Italian sausage (5 links)

1 bell pepper of each color: green, red, yellow, and orange; sliced into strips

1 lg. onion, sliced

2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 T. squeeze garlic)

1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 T. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. salt

3 T. of pasta water (reserved before draining cooked pasta)

1 T. olive oil

Parmesan cheese for serving, optional (not included in WW points calculations)

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving, optional

Instructions:

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; reserve 3 T. of pasta water, drain, & set aside.

Brown sausages in a large skillet over medium-high heat; remove from pan & set aside. You can either leave them whole to cook them, then slice each into four pieces; or you can slice and then cook them. I prefer to slice first and then cook the pieces because they cook faster. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Cook peppers and onions in olive oil over medium-high heat until they are crisp-tender (about 8 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute).

Add the Italian seasoning, salt, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta water, and sliced sausage pieces. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add penne pasta and stir to heat through.

Serve with parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.

Weight Watchers Info.: This recipe makes 10 servings. Each 8 oz. serving (about 1 ½ c.) is 5 SmartPoints.

Italian Beef Sandwiches

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These sandwiches are the easiest thing you will ever make (even if you’ve never cooked a meal in your life, you can make these) and people will think you slaved in the kitchen.  This beef is fall-apart tender and melt-in-your mouth delicious.  They have a whopping 5 ingredients, and prep time is less than 5 minutes.  Set it and forget it! ~Erin

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds top round (or similar cut) beef roast
  • 2 or 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (0.6 oz.) packet Good Seasons dry Zesty Italian dressing mix
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar whole or sliced pepperoncini peppers
  • 8 to 10 ounces fat-free Zesty Italian dressing
  • Buns for serving
  • Cheese for sandwiches, optional

Instructions:

Place roast in a slow cooker.

Top with garlic and dry zesty Italian seasoning mix.

Discard all but about a quarter of the juice out of pepperoncini jar; pour remaining juice and all the peppers over the roast.

Pour in liquid zesty Italian dressing.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 3-4, or until meat is fully cooked and shreds easily.

Shred the beef & serve it hot on a toasted bun with the cheese of your choice.

WW Freestyle Info.:  The beef/pepper mixture calculates to 5 points per 4 ounce serving.