Beef taco filling

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 small onion, chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef (or leaner)
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar (preferably cider vinegar)
  • Ground black pepper
  1. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, spices, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom to prevent scorching, until beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently and breaking meat up so that no chunks remain, until liquid has reduced and thickened (mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Fresh tomato salsa

  • 1 ½ pounds firm, ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/8-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • ½ cup minced red onion **
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (about ½ teaspoon) **
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves **
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 – 6 teaspoons lime juice from 1 to 2 limes
  • Granulated sugar to taste (up to 1 teaspoon)

** can be chopped in food processor

1. Set large colander in large bowl. Place tomatoes in colander and let drain 30 minutes. As tomatoes drain, layer onion, garlic, and cilantro on top. Shake colander to drain off excess tomato juice. Discard juice.

2. Transfer contents of colander to empty bowl. Add salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons lime juice; toss to combine. Taste and add sugar and additional lime juice to taste, if needed.

Corn salsa

  • 2 ears corn (cooked), kernels cut from cobs (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 medium scallion, sliced thin
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons corn oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt

Place all ingredients in medium bowl, toss well, and serve.

To cook corn:
Bring 2 cups water to boil in small saucepan over high heat. Stir in corn, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon salt; remove pan from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain corn and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Tomato farro with vegetables

Serves: 4 as a side, 2 as a hearty main

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup semi-pearled farro 
  • ½ large white onion, halved, then thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12 oz. of grape or cherry tomatoes halved, or equal amount diced fresh tomato
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt or 1 cube bullion
  • Up to ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
  • 1-2 cups diced veggies to stir in: sugar snap peas, bell pepper, corn, asparagus, zucchini or any variation of veggies you want
  1. Place water and farro in a medium saucepan to presoak 5-10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Sauté onions, garlic and red pepper flakes in some olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add drained farro, salt or bullion, 2 c. water and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 30 minutes. Bring uncovered pan (no lid necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally.
  4. 5 minutes before timer rings, stir in diced veggies. Farro should be al dente to bite. If it’s not ready, add 5 more minutes. Add a little more liquid if dry and sticking to pan.
  5. Serve with parmesan cheese.

WW 3 pts = 1 cup cooked

Beef with Cumin

  • 9oz beef cut into thin bite-sized slices
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into 1-2cm strips, then diagonally into diamond shaped slices
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1.5 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 green onions, green parts only, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

For the marinade:

  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp light soy
  • ¾ tsp dark soy
  • 1.5 tsp corn starch
  • 1.5 tbsp water
  1. Stir sliced beef and marinade together in a bowl
  2. Add 3 tbsp cooking oil into wok, heat high. Stir fry beef briskly and separate slices. When slices have separated, but are still a bit pink, remove them from the wok and set aside.
  3. Return the wok to high flame with remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add ginger and garlic and sizzle until fragrant. Add bell peppers and stir fry until hot and fragrant.
  4. Return beef slices to wok, give everything a good stir, then add cumin. When all is fragrant and sizzling, add green onions and toss briefly. 
  5. Remove from heat, stir in sesame oil, serve.

Lemon Raspberry Pancakes


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • zest of two lemons
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pint raspberries or blueberries (defrosted, if frozen)
  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Mix until everything is just combined. If the batter is too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out.
  2. Pour the batter onto a hot skillet. Add a few raspberries to the pancake. Cook until the pancake begins to bubble around the edges. Carefully, (the raspberries make this a little tricky) flip the pancakes over and cook the other side until cooked through.
  3. Spread a layer of lemon curd in between each pancake. Top with more raspberries and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Light Banana Bread


  • 1 ½ cups (7 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) cake flour (½ cup flour – 1 tbsp, replaced with 1 tbsp cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (5 ¼ ounces) sugar
  • 3 very ripe, darkly speckled large bananas (about 1 ¼ pounds), mashed well (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ¼ cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs

Optional add-ins:

  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup toasted coconut flakes + 1 cup toasted, chopped macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup grated bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp cinnamon + ¼ tsp nutmeg + 2 tbsp grated orange zest; optional ¼ cup toasted walnuts chopped; all mixed into the flour mixture
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with the nonstick baking spray. Sift and mix the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar together in a medium bowl; set aside. In food processor, puree the mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla together. Then mix in eggs, one at a time, and melted, cooled butter. Transfer 1/3 of liquid mix to large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in half of the flour mixture until just incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add half of the remaining flour, followed by another one-third of the liquid mixture. Repeat this process once more, being careful not to overmix the batter, which should look thick and chunky.
  3. Optional: add optional add-ins, fold into batter.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top evenly with the walnuts (if using). Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 55 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

WW 3pts slice / 13 slices per loaf

Crockpot yogurt

  • ½ gallon milk
  • ½ c. powdered milk if using 2% or non-fat milk
  • ½ c. plain yogurt with active cultures
  1. In large crockpot, add ½ gallon milk and turn on low for ~1-2 hours, until 180*F.
  2. Remove lid and cool down until 115*F. This temp should be accurate within 5*F to not kill the yogurt culture.
  3. Stir in yogurt and powdered milk (if using).
  4. Turn off crockpot. Replace lid. Cover in a super heavy towel and let sit for 8 hours at 110-120*F.
  5. Turn on crockpot to low every 3 hours for 10 minutes to maintain temp.
  6. Cool, store and eat!