Bubble Up Enchiladas

I know a lot of you have seen this recipe floating around the web and it has been sitting on my “recipes to try” Pinterest board for far too long. Shockingly enough, it is originally a weight watchers recipe, all though I pretty much stripped it of being one. I took the basic recipe and added quite a few things to it, which is the best part about it! You can change/add/detract any of the ingredients or keep it basic and it will still taste amazing. This meal took about 15 minutes to prepare, which makes it a great addition to your weeknight recipe arsenal.

Bubble Up Enchiladas (Serves 6)

Ingredients
1 1/4 lb lean ground turkey
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 19 oz can red enchilada sauce
1 7.5 oz can reduced fat refrigerator biscuits, ripped into small pieces
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
1/2 cup diced white onion
one packet taco seasoning
1 Tbs. olive oil
1-2 cups reduced fat shredded mexican blend cheese
1/4 diced green onion (optional)
avocado (for garnish)
sour cream (for garnish)

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large cast iron skillet*, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat
3. Brown the meat and add the taco seasoning while browning
4. Add the beans, veggies and enchilada sauce to the skillet
5. Tear the biscuits into small pieces and cut into the enchilada mixture in your skillet
6. Place the skillet in the oven for 30 minutes
7. Remove, sprinkle on desired amount of cheese (more is better obviously) and green onions if you choose. Put back in the oven for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melty
8. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving, it will be really hot
9. Garnish with sour cream, avocado or any of your other favorite toppings
*if you don’t have a large enough cast iron skillet, simply prepare the mixture in a regular skillet and then put it in a greased 9×13 baking dish

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Slow cooked “bolognese”

So technically this a crock pot meal, but does take a bit of preparation before hand. I put bolognese in quotes because while it is slow cooked like a bolognese, I omitted the cream which I’m pretty sure you need to make a true bolognese sauce (let’s see how many times I can say bolognese in this post!) and added a few spices that are more likely to be found in a marinara sauce.

To keep this a low calorie and low point meal,  you can serve over roasted spaghetti squash – I served it over some multi-colored pasta.

Slow cooked “bolognese” (5 servings, 5 p+/serving)

Ingredients:
1/4 lb. center cut bacon, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium white onion, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
2 carrots, minced
1 lb 95% lean ground turkey
1/4 cup white wine
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. oregano (dried)
1 tsp. onion powder
2 bay leaves
salt and fresh pepper

Directions:
1. In a large saute pan, saute the bacon until the fat starts to render.
2. Add celery, carrot and onion. Cook until soft (about 4 minutes) over medium heat.
3. Increase the heat to medium high and add the meat. Season with salt and pepper, saute until brown.
4. Drain the fat, then add the wine. Cook 3-4 minutes.
5. Add meat mixture to crock pot along with tomatoes, a bit more salt and pepper and the bay leaves.
6. Cook on low for 6 hours.
7. Season with garlic powder, onion powder and oregano and cook 30 additional minutes.
8. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash.

Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps

Ok, so these “meatballs” are more like mini hamburger patties, but serve the same purpose. In fact, there was discussion in my kitchen the other night about possibly turning these into sliders at some point… we’ll see. For now, they make a perfect addition to a rice filled lettuce cup. (The points listed above do not include rice, but with a 1/2 cup of rice, the points would be 9).
They are pretty quick to prep, and make for an easy but healthy meal. They are even better the next day as the flavors really come together overnight. And just a disclaimer, I did not actually cook this meal – my wonderful boyfriend David Fisher did. So kudos to him!

Vietnamese Meatball Lettuce Wraps (adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)
(makes 5 servings, WW Points+ 6 points/serving)

Dressing Ingredients:
3 T soy sauce
4 T rice vinegar
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Meatball Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb. ground turkey (99% Fat Free)
2 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 1/2 T grated fresh ginger root
2 T finely chopped green onion
1 T Asian sesame oil
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. soy sauce (regular or low sodium)
2 tsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil

Directions:
1. Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and let the dressing flavors blend while you make and cook the meatballs.
2. Chop garlic and grate (or finely chop) fresh ginger root, then add sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce.
3. Put ground turkey in a bowl, then use a large spoon to mix in the seasoning mixture you created in step 2.
4. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a large heavy frying pan, then use a tablespoon-sized measuring cup to scoop out turkey to make meatballs (or in my case small patties), adding each one to the hot pan as you make them.
5. Cook the meatballs/patties in two batches so you don’t crowd the pan, cooking each batch until the outside is lightly browned and they’re cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
6. While meatballs cook, wash and dry mint leaves and green onion, chop cilantro and wash and dry lettuce leaves.
7. Once meatballs/patties are done, make lettuce wraps by putting 2-3 meatballs/patties inside a piece of lettuce, drizzling on sauce, and topping with mint or cilantro.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Growing up there was always that one thing my mom made that was the ultimate comfort food – stuffed peppers. I don’t know if I loved them because they were cheesy, colorful or warm and hearty, but I always got excited when I saw her pull out the peppers and the boxed spanish rice. I’ve adapted her recipe a bit (I don’t use the boxed rice, I substitute brown rice for white and I use ground turkey instead of ground beef.) Don’t get me wrong mom’s way was great, but I wanted to make it a bit healthier.

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s super versatile. Want to go meatless? Add crumbled tofu seasoned with taco seasoning, squash or potatoes. Don’t want the carbs? Add some leafy greens to the seasoned turkey. Want something different? Try quinoa instead of rice. Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy it!

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Serves 4)

Ingredients
4 bell peppers (any combo of colors, green are less sweet)
1 lb. ground turkey
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup chopped white onion
3 small cloves garlic, minced
15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 packet taco seasoning
3 Tbs. tomato paste
2 cups shredded cheese (I use a mexican blend)
2 Tbs. olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Directions:
1. Wash the bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise. Remove the stems, seeds and as much of the white parts of the peppers as you can.
2. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat to a medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until they are translucent.
3. Add the turkey and crumble with a large spoon. Sprinkle the turkey with the taco seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brown turkey.
4. Add the canned tomatoes,corn and rice stir until combined.
5. Add the tomato paste, stir until combined. Mix 1 cup of the cheese into the mixture.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the peppers and blanch. Boil the peppers for 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness of the pepper. Remove and rinse with cold water. Let the peppers dry (or pat with a paper towel.)
8. Place the peppers on a baking sheet, sprayed with baking spray.9. Using a spoon, scoop the meat and rice mixture into each pepper. Make sure you press the mixture into the corners of the peppers. (You will make a mess!)
10. Place the peppers into the pre heated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
11. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.