Old Clothes for Dinner?

What were you doing at 6 a.m. today? While you may have been sleeping or working out, I was up, in the kitchen, slicing vegetables for tonight’s dinner. I got too tired last night to throw together tonight’s crockpot meal, so I got up early this morning and got to chopping! It really didn’t take long, but it was about 4:15 when I finally realized that I didn’t need to cook!

Now you may be wondering what the heck I mean in my title… Dinner tonight was a traditional Latino dish called “ropa vieja” which literally means “old clothes” and this is because, when made properly, it looks like a pot of wet, old clothes! I’d always heard about this dish, and was curious, and until a few years ago, I had no idea what it was. My friend Anna and I went to a Cuban restaurant for dinner, and I saw Ropa Vieja on the menu! Of course I had to order it…and I was hooked. I had just started cooking, and I went about trying to recreate the recipe, but I couldn’t get the meat as “fally-aparty” as it had been in the restaurant. I had just joined Weight Watchers and had found Heather’s Recipe Site, and I was DELIGHTED when I found the recipe for crockpot Ropa Vieja! One problem…no crockpot. I went out not long after that, and bought a crockpot and made the recipe and I was thrilled…it was BETTER than the restaurant’s!

I’ve made it several times since then, and it seemed like just the thing for a cold day today. I ate mine in a low-carb flour tortilla with a touch of fat free sour cream. DELICIOSO!



Crockpot Ropa Vieja (From http://freewebs.com/hwc1973)

1 large onion, sliced into thin rings
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1.5 TBS ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
9 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 (2 lb) flank steak
1 c vegetable broth
3 bay leaves
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro

Combine onion through pepper sauce in a large bowl. Transfer half of the mixture into 5 or 6 qt slow cooker (crockpot). Place steak on top. Spoon remaining mixture over steak. Pour broth around steak and then tuck in bay leaves. Cover and cook until steak is tender. 5-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.**

I cooked this for literally 11 hours, and when I went to take the bay leaves out of the pot, the meat fell apart. I overdid the veggies a little bit and used twice the amount of peppers. If I do that again, I’ll cut the broth a bit because there’s too much liquid in the pot. It was still delicious, and only 5 Points® per serving, plus tortillas!


I’ve had a couple of you ask me about this stuff called PB2, so I thought I’d just talk about it here.

from bellplantation.com

PB2 is a powdered peanut butter that has 75% less calories and fat than regular peanut butter, but with all the taste. It’s fantastic in smoothies, oatmeal, other hot cereals, puddings… yeah, just about anything that normal PB would go into! I love normal peanut butter, and as much as I love it, I can’t really have it in the house. I tend to take spoons to it and just go to town. If I want a spoonful of peanut butter, with PB2 I can mix it with water and it gives me PB2  the flavor and texture satisfaction without the calories or Points. I’m working on getting some jars to send out as a giveaway…more to come on that!

From the Bell Plantation Website:

Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts, salt, and sugar

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons (12 grams)

Servings Per Container: 16

Amount Per 2 Tablespoon Serving (*when mixed with water):

Calories                             53.2

Calories from Fat           16.8

% Daily Value*
Total Fat

1.87 g

Saturated Fat

0.34 g

Trans Fat

0 g

Unsaturated Fat

1.53 g


0 mg


77.6 mg

Total Carbohydrate

3.4 g

Dietary Fiber

0.48 g


1.66 g


5.65 g

Vitamin A (IU)


Vitamin C (mg)


Calcium (mg)


Iron (mg)


On that note, a QOTD: What’s your favorite “almost” food that helps you stay on track? For me, its either PB2 or Morningstar Farms corn dogs. They taste so “bad” but they’re seriously healthy!


19 thoughts on “Old Clothes for Dinner?

  1. YAAAAY! i’m actually holding a giveaway for PB2, too! my package is arriving in a few days so i’m going to start holding the giveaway soon!

    and i was like “old clothes for dinner? huh?” but thank you so much for sharing. it is SO interesting!

  2. Coconut milk ice cream. It has six grams of fiber per serving. I think saying it is “healthy” is stretch, but you know what I mean.

  3. Love the title of this post! Hmmm, I’d say Kashi cheddar crackers. They’re super delicious!

  4. I love making flank steak in the crock pot as it comes out so tender! I’m also a fan of the PB2 – it’s great for recipes, or when I simply feel like going to town on some PB. I like the chocolate flava too!

  5. I love the Ropa Vieja at Cafe 28, and I’ll definitely be trying this out soon. I have another recipe for crock pot flank steak that I found on Sparkrecipes.com. It’s a Carribean-style dish that uses sweet potatoes, canned crushed pineapple, BBQ sauce, onions and ginger. (I recommend adding an additional can of pineapple chunks) It’s so simple and makes the house smell like vacation!!! It’s called “Sweet and Sassy Flank Steak”: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=182498

  6. my hub loooooves ropa vieja 😀
    looks amazing!
    i’m way intrigued by the powdered peanut butter..

  7. My crock pot is my second favorite kitchen appliance (my first is my blender, but it should be noted that if I had a dishwasher that would probably be my favorite). I almost never buy canned beans- i cook them dry in the crock pot and then freeze them in can-sized portions for later use. So much tastier!

    My favorite “almost” food would probably be crystal light (I know, I know) and fat free sugar free pudding mix- I put it dry into my smoothies and it makes them taste like a milkshake!

    Love you blog!


  8. I loved your word: fally-aparty! I think they teach that in culinary school!

    I would make this, but just leave out the onions – yum!

  9. ropa viejo sounds so good…i’m trying to do one crock pot recipe a week- it looks like i found my next one!

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