Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Supper

Grilled Flank Steak with Peppers and Onions
Tex-Mex Couscous

It was bound to happen sooner or later. There was an intervention in the making.

For our family, summer means lots of water fun (requiring a bathing suit) and forcing a reality check resulting from a winter of over indulgence and hardy eating. I don't know which is worse, trying to fit into last years Esther Williams one piece skirt type bathing dress or shopping for a new one.

All the good intentions in the world haven't controlled my appetite, so my family intervened. Weight Watchers, Annelle. You're going to Weight Watchers. I'm already a lifetime member. And I've used the program several times in the last 30 years to whip myself back in shape, but things have been so crazy lately, I couldn't imagine making it work, again. Never underestimate the power of a determined family.

Long story short, most of the recipes for the next few months will be a little lighter, a lot fresher and perfect for this hot summer weather. I say 'most' because there will be indulgences. My goal is to make the indulgences worth their weight.

I do know that the Weight Watchers plan is a way of eating that can easily translate to the rest of the family. It's healthy, varied and satisfying. It you've looked at the new USDA Food Plate (, you'll notice an uncanny similarity. The only difference between a good healthy diet and the Weight Watchers diet is a firm grip on portion control.

Yes, the secret is still healthy eating with portion control, moderate exercise, and a respectable amount of water. I should have it tattooed on my arm.

Grilled Flank Steak with Onions and Peppers

(6 servings)

One and one-half lbs. Flank steak

4 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Cumin

2 tsp. Stubbs Chili-lime rub (or your favorite Tex-Mex seasoning)

Add Worcestershire sauce, oil, salt, cumin and seasoning to zip lock bag and swish to combine. Add flank steak and refrigerate for several hours.

Grill over medium coals for about 5-6 minutes per side, for medium rare. Remove meat to platter, cover with foil and set aside to rest.

2 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

1 sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (10 oz.) can Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Chilies (I recommend 'mild')

One-half tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Stubbs Chile-lime Spice Rub (or your favorite Tex-Mex seasoning)

One-half tsp. Chipotle Chile Pepper (or just plan Chili powder)

Add olive oil to pan over medium heat. Add peppers and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until becoming tender. Then add garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Finally add the can of diced tomatoes and chiles and seasoning, turn the heat down and let simmer until most of the liquid is gone.

Slice the flank steak thinly across the grain of the meat. Add to cooked vegetables.

Serve with tortillas and cheese.

Tex-Mex Couscous Salad

This is a slightly modified Weight Watchers recipe. I'll guarantee you'll prepare it again and again!

(6 servings)

three-fourths cup Original Plain Couscous, prepared as directed on box, fluffed, and cooled to room temperature

1 cup chopped tomatoes that have been seeded

1 cup peeled, chopped English cucumber

2 scallions, diced

one-third cup chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of one lime

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

three-fourths tsp. Salt

One-half tsp. Cumin

1 avocado, diced

When couscous is cool, add tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro and toss to mix. Add lime juice, olive oil, salt and cumin and toss again. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Dice avocado and add to salad just before serving.

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