Beef

Zucchini Lasagna – 21 Day Fix Approved

Zucchini Lasagna

I LOVE this lasagna, it is so delicious, you won’t even miss the pasta! Using zucchini strips in place of lasagna this is an excellent grain-free, gluten-free, low-carb alternative to traditional lasagna. It is also 21 Day Fix approved!

It is a little time consuming so give yourself plenty of time to prepare (it’s totally worth it – trust me). This makes enough for leftovers and is delicious re-heated. You can also always pre-assemble the lasagna and freeze before baking. Or prepare two and freeze one!

The key to this recipe is to get as much moisture out of the zucchini as possible by salting and then grilling them. Be sure to choose a high quality crushed tomatoes and check the label for any additives. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
28 oz crushed tomatoes (no salt or sugar added)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 medium zucchini
15 oz part-skim ricotta
12 oz shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
1 large egg

Directions:

In a large saucepan, brown meat until fully cooked, drain in a colander to remove excess fat. Add olive oil to the warm saucepan then add garlic and onion and saute 2 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add the tomatoes, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover pan and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. The sauce should be thick; do not add extra water.

Meanwhile, using a mandoline, slice the zucchini length-wise into 1/8″ strips. Place the strips on paper towels, and lightly salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. The salt will remove the excess water from the zucchini. After 10 minutes, blot away the excess water with paper towels.

Preheat a grill or grill pan. Grill zucchini, 1-2 minutes per side and set grilled zucchinis on paper towels to soak up any remaining moisture.

Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan and egg until smooth and mixed.

Once all ingredients are prepared and sauce is done simmering, assemble the lasagna in a 9×12 casserole dish. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the dish (using about 1/4 of the sauce). Cover evenly with a layer zucchini strips. Top with a layer of ricotta cheese mixture (use about 1/3 of the mixture), then sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top (use about a 1/4 of the mozzarella). Cover with another layer of sauce (another 1/4 of the sauce), a layer of zucchini, a layer of ricotta (another 1/3), then mozzarella (another 1/4), a layer of zucchini, a layer of ricotta (the final third), more mozzarella (another 1/4), then finish with the last 1/4 of the sauce and top with the last 1/4 of the mozzarella.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting into 8 slices and serving.

Servings: 8

For 21 Day Fixers: 1 red, 1 green, 1 blue

Zucchini Lasagna 21 Day Fix

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Pasta Bolognese

When the weather gets cooler, I always love a good, hearty pasta. This bolognese is super delicious and I knew Casey would appreciate a meaty sauce. The leftovers were wonderful, too, this  sauce tastes great the second day. I served it with my favorite Alexia Garlic Bread and topped with plenty of fresh basil

 
Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup grated carrots
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
3 oz tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes. with juice
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Fresh basil, for garnish
Directions:
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Push the carrots and onions to the side, exposing the bottom of the pot. Place ground beef in the center. Cook for several minutes, gradually breaking down the ground beef and mixing it with the carrots and onions.
Add oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Continue to cook until meat is browned and combined with the other ingredients. Make a well in the center of the pot and add tomato paste to the exposed bottom of the pot. Let the tomato paste heat for 1-2 minutes, add garlic, and stir to combine.
Make another well in the center and add the red wine, stir to combine. Add Worcestershire and canned tomatoes, stirring to combine. Pour in the milk, stir, cover and let simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Serve over pasta and top with fresh Parmesan cheese and basil.
Serves: 4
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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Grilled Flank Steak and Vegetable Fajitas

I love Tex-Mex and these grilled fajitas hit the spot! I love the chipotle flavored salsa that’s used in the marinade and as a topping. We also topped our with some feta cheese, queso blanco would also be great.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup bottled chipotle salsa
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1 pound) flank steak, trimmed
4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices red onion
1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, quartered and seeded
Cooking spray
8 (7-inch) flour tortillas
1/4 cup bottled chipotle salsa, for serving 
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, for garnish
Directions:Combine the salsa, lime juice, and garlic in a large zip lock bag. Add the flank steak, making sure that it is well coated with the marinade. Seal and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight, if possible, turning occasionally.
When ready to cook, prepare grill.
Remove the steak from the bag and discard marinade. Place the steak and the vegetables on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cook steak for 7 minutes on each side or until cooked to the temperature of your choice. Cook the vegetables until they are slightly soft and charred on the edges.
When the steak is done, remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut the steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Cut the peppers into thin strips and the onion slices in halves.
Warm the tortillas on the grill. Divide the steak, peppers, and onions evenly among the tortillas. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon chipotle salsa and 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro. Roll up tortillas and serve.
Servings: 4
Calories: 547
Adapted from Cooking Light.

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Grilled Flank Steak with Pepper Salsa

We are back from the beach, refreshed and slightly tanned, if not a few pounds heavier (Grotto pizza, you are a blessing and a curse). I am happy to get back into cooking grilling everything in sight. Can you grill avocado? Because I want to.
I made this dish before we left and it was sooooo good. The pepper salsa made the dish and was the absolutely perfect accompaniment to the flank steak. This is definitely one of our top all time favorites. I served it with grilled veggies which are pretty much my go-to side dish these days. This time I added sun-dried tomatoes to the mix. I highly recommend grilling those babies, so delicious!

Ingredients:
Marinade
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt
Steak
1.5-2-pound flank steak, trimmed of fat
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Salsa
1 large green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
1 large jalapeno, finely chopped
6 green onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chopped basil (cilantro would also be good)
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions:
Prepare the marinade by mixing all marinade ingredients together in a large zip lock bag. Add the trimmed steak to the bag and marinate for 20 minutes on the counter top or longer, even overnight, in the fridge. If you choose to marinate the steak for a longer period of time in the fridge, remove the zip lock bag from the fridge while you prepare the grill and salsa so that it comes to room temperature before grilling.
Prepare the salsa by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use if preparing ahead of time.
Prepare your grill. Remove the flank steak from the zip lock bag and discard the additional marinade. Pat the steak dry with paper towels and sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. When the grill is hot, add the steak and cook both sides to your desired temperature. When the steak is cooked to your liking, transfer it from the grill to a clean plate, cover with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Slice the steak against the grain in 1/4 inch slices. Serve topped with pepper salsa.
Serves 4-6.
Adapted from Simply Recipes.

Linked to Prairie Story Recipe Swap Thursday and Little Brick Ranch Foodie Friday.

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Flank Steak with Cilantro Almond Pesto

We are still on a grilling roll over at our house. I just don’t even feel like using the oven anymore unless, of course, for pies! This Cooking Light recipe was super easy and delicious and I saved the leftover sauce to use on chicken later in the week. The sauce was so good with the meat although I ended up adding extra yogurt to ours to taste so it turned out to not be a traditional pesto.
 
Ingredients:
3/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
jalapeño pepper, chopped (use less if you don’t want it too spicy)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Directions:

Combine first 6 ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped (about 15 seconds). Add yogurt and lime juice, process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare grill. Season flank steak with seasoning salt and pepper. Grill steak for 6 minutes on each side, or until cooked to desired temperature. Remove from grill and allow steak to rest for 5 minutes. Slice diagonally against the grain into thin slices. Top with pesto and garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Servings: 4
Calories: 209
Adapted from Cooking Light.

 
Linked to Prairie Story Recipe Swap Thursday Beyer Beware Hunk of Meat Monday and Delightfully Dowling Mangia Monday.

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Seven Layer Tortilla Pie

I saw this on one of my favorite food blogs, Let’s Dish, and decided that it would be a fun dish to try! I changed up the recipe slightly based on what we had on hand and cooked it in a spring form pan for easy removal. This was actually even better as leftovers, the flavors really melded together in the fridge. You can tailor this recipe however you like, adding in your favorite ingredients, which makes it a great last minute meal!
Ingredients:
1/2 lb ground beef
Taco seasoning
1can refried beans
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
7 8-inch flour tortillas
2 cups Mexican shredded cheese
Black olives, chopped tomatoes, sliced green onions for garnish.
Directions:
In a large skillet, brown ground beef, add taco seasoning and cook according to directions. Stir in refried beans and salsa, and cook to warm the mixture.
In a medium bowl, combine red onion, black beans and cilantro.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a spring form cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place a tortilla in the bottom of the pan. Spread some of the beef mixture over the tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, top with the second tortilla. Spread the black bean mixture, sprinkle with cheese, top with the third tortilla. Continue, alternating beef and bean mixtures until you reach the last tortilla. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, remove foil and top tortilla with cheese and sliced black olives. Bake, uncovered, for 5 more minutes.
Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, slice and serve.

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Recipe Revisit: Baked Beef Ziti

I had planned to post corned beef and cabbage today in honor of St, Patrick’s Day but my plans were foiled. I had everything laid out in the crock pot on Tuesday night and forgot to take it out of the fridge and start it up yesterday morning. Oh well, we have it waiting for us to devour when we get home tonight!
I have been trying to revisit some of my old recipes lately, and this one has always been a favorite. See the original post and recipe here. Serve it with a side salad and garlic bread for a great meal. I love Alexia’s Garlic Baguette which is 3 points plus for 2 pieces.
 

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Steak Sandwiches, PW Style

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I have been super busy as of late! Our basement renovation is coming along really well and I hope to take some pictures over the weekend to show you. Monday was Casey’s birthday and I had planned a special Lancaster, PA dinner for him but I wasn’t able to get all the ingredients in time. Instead, I made these delicious sandwiches and I will have to make him the Lancaster meal another time.
These sandwiches are Pioneer Woman’s version of her husband’s favorite sandwich. I thought Casey might actually prefer her version so I gave them a try. They were so good, not that I expected anything less! I couldn’t find cube steak so I used shaved Angus instead which turned out fabulously. Casey said they taste like a healthy cheesesteak. I’m not sure if the amount of butter is “healthy” but the onions, peppers, and mushrooms were a great addition. I halved the recipe to make enough for 4 sandwiches.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound cube steak (or shaved beef for sandwiches)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 large yellow onion, halved, and thickly sliced
1 whole green bell pepper, sliced into rings
1 whole red bell pepper, sliced into rings
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoons (additional) butter
3/4 cup sherry (cooking sherry is fine)
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
4 dashes tabasco (or more to taste)
4 crusty sandwhich bread loaves
1 tablespoons (additional) butter
4 slices cheese (provolone, swiss, pepper jack)
Directions:
Cut cube steak into strips against the grain. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over high heat. As soon as it’s melted (but before it burns) brown strips of cube steak, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove meat to a clean plate when brown. Set aside. (Be sure to not overcook, the steak will continue to cook up once it has been removed from the pan).
Reduce heat to medium-high. Add onions, garlic, green peppers, and red peppers and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until relatively soft (but not flimsy.) Remove to a clean plate. Set aside.
Melt 1 add’l tablespoons butter to the skillet. Add sliced mushrooms and stir. Pour in sherry, then add Worcestershire and Tabasco. Cook over medium-high heat for five minutes, or until liquid has reduced by about a third.
Add in meat and vegetables, stirring to combine. Cook for just a few minutes to heat everything up, adding more sherry and Worcestershire (and Tabasco) as needed. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter at the end. Keep hot.
Toast halved deli rolls in plenty of butter until golden brown and crisp. Spoon meat/veggie mixture on the lower half of the bun, then spoon one or two tablespoons of pan sauce over the meat (it will soak into the bun.) Drizzle a little sauce on the underside of the top bun, too, for extra flavor and moisture. Top with cheese and broil for a minute or two, until the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately.
Servings: 4

 
Linked to Fudge Ripple Tuesday Night Supper Club and Not So Homemade What’s Cooking Wednesday.

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Spicy Meatloaf

This was a decent Weight Watchers meal. My meatloaf fell apart a bit when it came out of the pan but it tasted great, especially topped with a bit of salsa, sour cream and fresh cilantro. I know meatloaf sometimes gets a bad rap but I find it yummy and easy to make! Another favorite meatloaf of mine is Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf.

Ingredients:
1 spray cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
1 cup rolled oats
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 oz canned green chili peppers (or substitute fresh peppers, I used 4 small Serrano peppers, chopped)
1 large egg
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin powder
8 oz salsa, divided

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients, except half of salsa, in a large mixing bowl; set remaining salsa aside. Spoon meatloaf mixture into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake for 60 minutes; spoon remaining sauce over meatloaf and cook 5 minutes more. Slice into eight pieces.
Yields 1 piece per serving.

Servings: 8
Points plus: 4

 
Linked to Good Cheap Eats What’s on Your Plate? and Not So Homemade What’s Cooking Wednesday.

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Slow Cooker Irish Pot O’ Stew

My mom gave me this recipe to try and I am so glad that she did. Everyone needs to make this stew this winter! It is so hearty and comforting and perfect for cold winter nights. The other fabulous thing about it is that it is made in the crockpot so it is super easy. I chopped up the veggies the night before and then just dumped all the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning and let it cook all day while I was at work. It was a little thick when I got home so I thinned it out by adding a little more water. This is great served with crusty French bread and would be delicious with cornbread too.

Ingredients:
2 pounds stew beef – cut into 1 inch cubes
1 – 16 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 – 8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups carrot slices (slice the carrots into rounds about 1/3 inch thick and have all the vegetables sliced about the same size)
1 1/2 cups celery slices
1 cup onion slices
1/2 cup regular barley (rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook over low heat for 8 hours (do not open while cooking). Mix well before serving.

I only used about 1.25 lbs of stew meat which turned out to be a perfect amount. It made 4 large servings. If you use the full 2 lbs it would probably make 6-8 servings.

Calories (based on 6 servings): 290

Linked to Prairie Story Recipe Swap Thursday, Watch My Weight Wednesdays and A Southern Fairytale.

Purchase your 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack here and join my next online accountability group. Already have the 21 Day Fix but need help getting started? Make me your free coach and I will help you get started!

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