Mexican Beef and Zucchini Skillet Recipe – 7 Smart Points

Mexican Beef and Zucchini Skillet

Here’s another amazingly good low carb Weight Watchers recipe that was a big hit with my family. I had a few extra zucchini on hand recently that I didn’t want to go to waste, so I put together this Mexican Beef and Zucchini Skillet Recipe for a quick, easy and healthy dinner. All the ingredients are inexpensive and are almost always on hand in my pantry. For the kids, I served this over some brown rice and they loved it! Surprisingly, they gave me no grief about the zucchini being in there. I really love this dish with the ground beef, even though it adds extra fat and calories. The flavor of the meat works nicely with the mild zucchini. But if you want to trim this recipe down a couple of Points, you could use ground chicken or turkey instead. With the beans and zucchini, it’s bulked up very well, and is absolutely satisfying. This Mexican Beef and Zucchini Skillet recipe is perfect for busy weeknight dinners. And leftovers freeze nicely, too! Enjoy.

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Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe – 8 Smart Points

Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry

I can honestly never get enough of Chinese stir fry. I love it in all forms. But the restaurant version can be pretty high in Points. So I like to try my hand at healthy knock-offs of my favorite Chinese fast food dishes. One of the easiest and best attempts resulted in this delicious Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe that is so ridiculously good, it’s hard to believe it’s just 8 Smart Points. Marinating the beef and making sure to cut it against the grain, helps to keep it tender and flavorful. This recipe also works really well with chicken or shrimp, as an alternative to beef. Serve it atop some steamed brown rice, or just enjoy it as is!

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Moroccan Beef and Lamb Meatballs Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Moroccan Beef and Lamb Meatballs

These Moroccan Beef and Lamb meatballs are definitely a game changer in the meatball department. Tender, succulent, and full of traditional Moroccan spices, this recipe has become a favorite in our household. My kids love to eat them stuffed inside a pita, and topped with my homemade tzatziki sauce and cucumber tomato salad. It is truly a mouthwatering combination. You can easily skewer these meatballs for easy grilling, if you’d prefer that cooked over coals taste….it’s divine! Maybe take some to your 4th of July BBQ this year and blow those burgers and hotdogs out of the water! Everytime I make them, I triple the batch and then freeze some because they are just so incredibly tasty and I love having some remade to heat up. And at just 5 Smart Points per serving, this Weight Watchers meatball recipe tastes way more decadent. These are a MUST make, you guys.

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Mongolian Beef Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Mongolian Beef

Forget the fast food! This healthier and lighter Mongolian Beef Recipe delivers all the flavor but with a lot less fat, calories, and sodium. Instead of picking up dinner from my local Chinese restaurant, I just whip up this easy dish instead! It’s simple and requires just a handful of ingredients that I most likely already have on hand. And it is DELICIOUS! When I’m making it for just myself, I often add in extra scallions or red peppers to kick up the spice level a bit. But when I’m serving it to the whole family, I make the recipe as is. And at just 5 Smart Points per serving, this dish is the perfect way to satisfy that Chinese fast food craving.

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Classic Cuban Picadillo Recipe – 5 Smart Points

Classic Cuban Picadillo

If you’ve never had it/heard if it before, picadillo is a traditional and popular dish that is a staple in Cuban cuisine. It’s basically a tender stew of ground beef and tomatoes, with cinnamon and/or raisins added for sweetness, and olives added for salt. It’s typically served over rice, but also works great as a stuffing for empanadas, quesadillas or wraps. It smells and tastes heavenly, and is the ultimate in Cuban comfort food. This recipe is favorite of my kids’ and always gets gobbled up. They eat it with the rice, and my husband and I just ate it as is. To keep it healthy and Weight Watchers friendly, I just used an extra lean ground beef and used cinnamon instead of raisins. It was incredibly fast and easy to make, and was absolutely divine. Truly a satisfying and indigent dish that is totally guilt free. I highly recommend giving this one a try!

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Grilled Reuben Sandwich Recipe – 8 Smart Points

Grilled Reuben Sandwich

One of my all time favorite sandwiches, is this slimmed down version of a grilled Reuben sandwich. Just by using high quality, but lower fat/calorie ingredients, I was able to transform a traditional Grilled Reuben Sandwich into one that’s very Weight Watchers friendly at just 8 Smart Points for the whole sandwich. All the beloved flavors are in there – melty Swiss cheese, earthy rye bread, salty corned beef, tangy sauerkraut, and creamy Thousand Island dressing – but it’s waaaaaaay less Points than a restaurant version. I cooked mine in a panini press (hence the grill marks), which is fantastic to use if you have one, but the instructions are for pan grilling. If you want a hot, melty sandwich that won’t blow your Points budget, this is it. Enjoy!

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Spaghetti with Ragu – 7 Smart Points

spaghetti-787043 (1)

This year for New Year’s day dinner, my in-laws had an Italian theme. One of the recipes we ended up with was a lasagna made with a homemade Ragu. I fell in love with it. The flavor of the Ragu was so delicious. It was rich, but not overpowering and wasn’t tomato based. Most of my pasta sauces are tomato or cream based, so this one was a breath of fresh air. I got the recipe and have made it several times since then. It makes a lot, so I tend to freeze part of it or I end up with too much sauce to use before it went bad. The only downside of this recipe for me, is that you need to simmer it for a couple of hours. I don’t care for wine, so I simmered mine for at least 2 hours to make sure no wine flavor remained (don’t worry, all the alcohol has burned off by then). I’ve also found that the wine adds a depth to the flavor that the Ragu is really lacking without the wine. So, just plan ahead and make this Ragu on Saturday or Sunday (or any day you have the time to do the prep) and then store it until you use it later in the week. If you can’t find the pancetta, just use bacon as a substitute. This is perfect for spaghetti (or any other kind of pasta), or you can use it as your sauce for a lasagna. Any leftovers you won’t use within a week, just put it in a bag and freeze it for the next time. It’s rich, but not overpowering, and incredibly delicious. It’s my all-time favorite pasta sauce, and I love that I get to toss the veggies in the food processor to make the prep really easy. [Read more…]

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BBQ Beef – 9 Smart Points

BBQ Beef

Since last weekend was a 3 day weekend with Memorial day, my in-laws came down for the weekend. We had a couple of projects to work on while they were here (the guys had a couple of projects, I was just hoping to get out of as much work as possible), so it worked perfectly. I like to have everything planned out and everything I possibly can prepped before a weekend like that. It makes life so much easier and less stressful. I also love food and cooking, so it was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of 2 extra mouths and make some delicious food! I had a beef roast (just a regular chuck roast) that desperately needed to get out of the freezer and used, so I decided to do BBQ beef. I wanted to do it in the crockpot, since it’s easy and turns out really delicious meat. I also wanted to do a Carolina inspired BBQ sauce. Since some of our close friends are from the Carolinas (he’s originally from the North and her from the South), they’ve introduced us to some really delicious BBQ. This sauce is just perfect. It’s a combination of the traditional ketchup based sauces that I’m used to (being from the North), but it’s got the tangy apple cider vinegar that really gives the sauce a robust flavor. It’s not as sharp as distilled white vinegar and is almost a little sweet. I skipped the hot sauce (Since none of us like it really hot), but added it here so that you can adjust it to your taste. I love this BBQ beef, it’s definitely going to be a great recipe for the summer. I don’t have to use the oven and it goes so well with potato salad, coleslaw, veggie trays or any other summer sides I want to serve it with. [Read more…]

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IKEA Copycat Swedish Meatballs Recipe – 9 Smart Points

IKEA Copycat Swedish Meatballs

I don’t about you folks, but when I go to IKEA, I can’t wait to get down to their cafeteria and wrap my tastebuds around some of their famous Swedish meatballs! They are just soooooo good! Since I can’t realistically make a trip to IKEA every time I want their meatballs, I got to work making a healthier IKEA Copycat Swedish Meatballs Recipe. It’s actually a pretty easy recipe to make, and these meatballs turned out just as good, if not, BETTER than IKEA’s. Now, I just need to create a lighter version of their delicious Lingonberry sauce to go with it, and I’m set! At 9 Smart Points for 6 meatballs and sauce, this delicious dish makes a perfect Weight Watchers substitute for the original version. If you love IKEA’s Swedish Meatballs as much as I do, this copycat version is a must try!

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Zucchini Lasagna – 8 Smart Points

Zucchini Lasagna

Who doesn’t love lasagna? It’s a favorite meal of mine, and one that I can easily make gluten free (just use gluten free noodles). It’s a great meal to stick in the freezer when I know I’m going to be out of town, so that my husband can just stick it in the oven after work. I thought I’d give our traditional lasagna recipe a low-carb makeover. Zucchini works so well as noodles in other traditional pasta dishes, so why not lasagna? It turns out this is delicious. I’m pretty picky about how I like my zucchini (especially cooked), but this was delicious. It was tender, but not overpowering with the rest of the delicious sauce. Give this one a try for one of your next family meals. It’ll be a definite hit!
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Crockpot Beef Stew – 7 Points +

Crockpot Beef Stew

I feel a like Wendy, I’ve had all of the turkey I can handle for a little while. It’s why tacos (beef tacos) are on the menu this week, along with this delicious beef stew. I love to cook stews and soups in the crock pot. Not only is it easy, but it’s a guaranteed way to make sure that I don’t burn it to the bottom of the pot – like I do with just about everything. The other great thing about crockpots is that you can take just about any meat and make it deliciously tender in the crockpot. This stew is great. You can chop everything up and stick it in the crockpot the night before. Store the crockpot (covered) in the fridge for the night and then in the morning, all you have to do is put the pot into the crockpot base and turn it on. It’s a great one pot meal, with very few prep dishes. But, if you’re looking for a side dish, serve it with a fruit salad or relish tray of veggies to keep those points down. You can also add peas, green beans or any other vegetable you like to have in your stews. This stew is savory, rich and delicious – perfect for a simple and easy meal that warms you up on a cold winter day.
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Salisbury Steak – 6 Points +

Salisbury Steak

Sometimes it’s really nice to just pull out an old favorite. You know it’s going to be delicious every time and you know that it’s simple and everyone likes it. For my family, one of those recipes is Salisbury steak. You can use the minute steak for it, or tenderized round steak, but I usually just use hamburger. It’s easy and I’ve always got it on hand. Make up your patties and fry them in a skillet, then make up a beef gravy with onions (and mushrooms if you’re so inclined) to top the patties. Serve with a side of mashed potatoes, corn and green beans and you’ve got a simple, delicious and well-loved meal ready to go in no time.
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