Category Archives: beef

neapolitan meatballs and sauce

I made this by candlelight last week when the power was out.¬† Oh, yes, I know how to rough it ūüôā

Sometimes I wonder if I’m giving my children a skewed view on food with¬†the importance I put on quality, homemade meals (and then I quickly get over it). ¬†We’ve joked with my daughter that when she goes off to college we will¬†have to send her care packages of artisan cheeses and homemade bagels.¬† It will probably¬†be hard for her to go cold turkey from home-cooked meals¬†(or maybe this has been my plan all along to make sure she comes home frequently!)

This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law.¬† Previously, I posted¬†a different, “lighter”¬†spaghetti and meatball recipe.¬† In reality, there is only 1 Weight Watcher Points Plus difference between the two recipes.¬† The other¬†recipe uses a package of chopped spinach in the meatballs, so it would be a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your children’s diet if this is an issue in your house.

Neapolitan Meatballs and Sauce

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 32 ounce can¬†whole tomatoes, blended

In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, oregano, breadcrumbs, and egg.  Season with salt and pepper.  Form into meatballs.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until golden.  Add meatballs to skillet and brown on all sides.  Add tomatoes and cook at a low simmer until thick, about an hour, occasionally gently stirring.  Makes 5 servings.

Serve over penne or rigatoni.  Top with grated romano or parmesan cheese.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving of meatballs/sauce has¬†6 Points Plus (pasta and cheese not included).

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in beef, pasta, points plus


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beef, potato, and quinoa soup

My growing 13-year-old¬†son is the inspiration for this soup.¬† He’s 5’8”, has size 12 shoes and weighs more than his father’s weight at high school¬†graduation¬†(granted, that was 135 lb). He is such a funny kid.¬† He proclaims that he loves beef, but every time we go out to a restaurant, he orders a caesar salad!

I like the fact that this recipe only calls for a half pound of beef for four servings of soup.  Even though that is only 2 ounces of beef per person, it is still a very hearty soup.

The directions are listed for cooking with a large pot.  I actually used my pressure cooker and cooked it for 20 minutes (instead of the 1 1/2 hours).  Yet another reason to purchase one!

P.S.  You can find Badia Sazon with Annato in the Latin section of the supermarket.

Beef, Potato, and Quinoa Soup

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Badia¬†Sazon¬†with Annato
  • 1/2 lb. beef, cubed into bite size pieces (I used beef tenderloin)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 beef bullion cube
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa)
  • 6 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Saute scallions and garlic until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add tomato, cumin, sazon, 4 Tbsp. cilantro and cook another 2 minutes.  Add beef, water, bullion, carrot, bell pepper, salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer on low about 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender.

Add potato and cooked quinoa and cook 25 more minutes.  Add remaining cilantro and serve.  Serves 4.

Recipe from Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes.¬† She calculates each 1 1/2 cup serving has 8 Weight Watcher PointsPlus.


Posted by on November 2, 2011 in beef, points plus, soups


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bolognese sauce

Over the weekend we had a household full of teenagers as we celebrated my daughter’s 16th birthday.¬† She and her friends spent the afternoon wandering the corn maze at the local pumpkin patch (wandering is being polite).¬† At one point she texts me that they are lost.¬† I quickly responded “DON’T CALL 911!”¬† We returned home to carve pumpkins and enjoy a pasta buffet.

This bolognese sauce was one of the three sauces we had at the party.¬† It has a delicious long-cooked taste for only 2 hours on the stove.¬† It’s very similar to my long-standing favorite recipe from Marcella Hazan’s cookbook “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.”¬† Marcella uses a bit more butter, a full cup of wine and a cup of whole milk, so this sauce is a bit lighter.¬† It may give up a little depth, but my husband who was raised on Marcella has a hard time telling the difference.

Bolognese Sauce

  • 4 oz. pancetta or prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, minced
  • 1 lb. 96/4% lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 (28 oz. each) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup half & half (optional)

In a deep heavy sauce pan, saute pancetta or prosciutto until fat melts.¬† Add butter, onions, celery, and carrots and cook until soft.¬† Add meat, season with salt and pepper and saute until the beef has lost its raw, red color (should be very light brown, don’t heavily brown).¬† Add wine, cook until it reduces down, about 3-4 minutes.¬† Add tomatoes and bay leaf.¬† Simmer covered on low, at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.¬† Add half & half (if using) and parsley, cook 2 minutes longer.¬† Makes about 8 cups.

Recipe adapted from (Gina’s Skinny Recipes).¬† 1/2 cup has 2.25 Weight Watcher PointsPlus.

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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in beef, pasta, points plus


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beef tenderloin with mushroom-red wine sauce

This tenderloin recipe is really a snap to make and very impressive! ¬†It was perfect for¬†my mother-in-law’s visit last week.¬† It was delicious served with smashed potatoes.¬† After cleaning all day in preparation for her arrival (I make it sound like she’s a dignitary!), this was actually a very easy and speedy dinner to put together.

Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom-Red Wine Sauce

  • 4 (4 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, trimmed of visible fat
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth, divided
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Sprinkle steaks evenly with 1/4 tsp. pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt; set aside.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add steaks, cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Remove steaks from pan; keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium; add shallots, garlic and mushrooms.  Saute 2 minutes.  Add wine, 1/2 cup broth, thyme, remaining salt and pepper.  Increase heat to medium-high and cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Combine cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup broth in a small bowl.  Stir with a whisk.  Add cornstarch mixture to pan and bring to boil.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Return steaks to pan and cook 1 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Makes 4 servings (one steak with about 1/3 cup sauce).  Each serving has 6 WWpts+.

Recipe slightly adapted from Weight Watchers.


Posted by on October 11, 2011 in beef, points plus


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flank steak and bok choy stir-fry

I wanted to find more uses for PB2 in my cooking, especially since a case of it just arrived via UPS. ūüôā ¬†I used 1 tablespoon of PB2 instead of the regular peanut butter that was called for in the original recipe. ¬†Two thumbs up!

Flank Steak and Bok Choy Stir-Fry Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 15, 2011 in beef, points plus


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beef and portobello burgers

We just finished a two-hour, 28 mile bike ride on the Long Beach Peninsula.¬† It was awesome!¬† My husband’s phone calculated that¬†we each¬†burned 5600 calories (based on speed and distance).¬† A very important number, since this was our dinner:

The Tsunami Burger!  The Corral, a little burger joint in Long Beach, WA, has had this burger on their menu for years.   The 5 pound burger requires you to order it 24 hours in advance.  Since the business is for sale, my mom thought now was the time to order it, before it was too late!  Photo op!

Last week I didn’t bike 28 miles, so this was my dinner:

The Beef and Portobello Burger!¬† By finely chopping Portobello mushroom caps and adding it to lean ground beef, you are able to make a “lighter” burger patty.

The result is a juicy burger with a yummy mushroom flavor.

Beef¬†and Portobello Burger Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in beef, points plus


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ginger steak salad

We just got back from camping in the Olympic National Forest.  After three days of eating canned and dehydrated foods, I was craving steak and my husband was craving fresh produce.  This recipe fit the bill and made us both very happy!

The dressing is delicious!  A little sweetness from the sugar, tang from the lime juice, spice from the jalapeno.  Add more or less jalapeno to suit your taste.  I keep my ginger root in the freezer.  It can last for months without spoiling and it is easy to grate with a microplane zester/grater.

Ginger Steak Salad Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in beef, points plus, salads


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