Tex-Mex Taco Pasta

I got an e-mail from Mr. Food last week and the dish on the e-mail looked decadent. It was listed as a “mac and cheese” but the recipe contained no cheese. It sent my wheels into motion and I started to write out a recipe adding in a few different items, calculated the points and decided it would be Sunday dinner for when my brother and sister-in-law came over.  As I was cooking the dish, I made a few edits and actually was able to reduce the points plus values by a point.
Considering this was a rather “on the fly” type of meal it turned out great and my brother and sister-in-law were quite the fan.  It does have an underlying spice to it, but that’s due to the taco seasoning packet I used.  The spiciness of course could be brought down by using a brand of taco seasoning that is on the milder side or you could even whip up your own taco seasoning spice by using some ingredients in your pantry.
Serves 8. Serving size roughly ~1 ½ cups.
7 Points Plus Values.

Tex-Mex Taco Pasta

  • 1 ¼ lbs 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz. uncooked pasta
  • 1 packet Old El Paso Original Taco Seasoning
  • 1 can petite no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 can no salt added corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 5 tbsp tomato paste
In a large non-stick skillet, combine onion, pepper and ground beef.  Cook over medium-high heat, breaking up meat until cooked and no longer pink.
Fill another pot with water, season with salt and set on to boil.  When water boiled, add in the pasta and cook until desired texture is met.  I recommend cooking until al dente.  When pasta is done, drain and set aside.
Once meat and vegetables are cooked, sprinkle the taco seasoning over the meat and add in the water. Stir to combine.
Add in the black beans, corn and can of diced tomatoes.  Stir to combine.  Sprinkle with garlic powder and let mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add the cooked pasta to the dish and gently stir to combine.
Depending on how much liquid is in the bottom of the pan, add in a tablespoon of tomato paste at a time. Blending the tomato paste into the “sauce” to thicken it – I found at 4 tablespoons there was still extra moisture in the bottom of the pan and the 5th tablespoon really brought it to a thicker consistency.
Divide into servings and enjoy!

Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco

For a late lunch today I swung through the Taco Bell drive-thru with my niece and picked myself up a Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco (original flavor – not supreme which includes sour cream).  Cool Ranch Doritos are my absolute favorite Doritos flavor so when I saw they came out with these I was excited.  I had tried the Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco when that came out — well over 6-months ago and though it was good so I felt the Cool Ranch version could only be that much better.

The taco itself was yummy!  It consists of a nicely seasoned Cool Ranch taco shell but not overpoweringly seasoned.  The ground beef, lettuce and cheese is as it’s provided in any staple Taco Bell taco.  It was a nice “treat” since I tend to make my own tacos at home.  I only had one, which was satisfying for me.

Weight Watchers Points Plus wise — this was 4 PP.  The supreme version, which has sour cream on it, is 5 PP.  I typically never get anything “supreme” at Taco Bell but if sour cream is something you enjoy on tacos – enjoy!  I admit it’s nice to try because it is so different from a classic taco.

Have you tried the new Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco?

Dinner: Chicken Ranch Tacos

I made Chicken Ranch Tacos for dinner on Friday.  I had wanted to make these for a couple months now because I saw it on Laaloosh (a Weight Watchers recipe blog)– had purchased the taco and ranch seasoning but just never got around to it.  I preplanned some of my meals for the week and decided I was going to make this since I was home on Friday.  I had my boyfriend clean the chicken for me (I have this thing about raw chicken – I can’t handle touching it (outside of just moving I from a container to a pan) or cleaning it.  So I took the trimmed and rinsed chicken and placed it in the bottom of my crock pot, then topped it with a packet of taco seasoning mix, a packet of ranch dressing mix, a tablespoon of minced garlic and 2 cups of chicken broth.  I looked into the crockpot and decided it needed a little more taco seasoning so I sprinkled some of my McCormick Taco seasoning on top of it.  I then turned the crock pot onto high and walked away for 6-hours.  When I returned I took the chicken out of the pot, shredded it and returned it back to the pot, stirring to get the juice mixture over all the meat.
The original recipe calls for 12 ounces of chicken – I used 2 pounds, added in the garlic and extra taco seasoning.
I served this with shredded lettuce and diced tomato, with a tiny bit of medium taco sauce.  My boyfriend’s tacos are on regular taco shells and I enjoyed mine on wheat flax tortilla.  I enjoyed it so much it was my lunch on Saturday and ended up being my lunch today as well.  It’s a really unique and different way to have a taco!
I had 4 ounces of shredded meat which I calculated to be 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.