Ropa Vieja

Hello! I doubt anyone is still checking this… it’s been QUITE awhile since I’ve written, and so much has happened.

  1. Started looking for a house/ condo
  2. Bought a condo
  3. Moved into condo (in the middle of the school year!)
  4. Finished my 6th year of teaching
  5. Went to Germany
  6. Went to Arizona
  7. Taking 8 grad credit hours this summer
  8. Leading two Weight Watcher meetings a week
  9. Trying to organize condo

So I am still cooking because I haven’t starved to death, but you get the idea– taking the time to share a recipe hasn’t been readily available. Today I’m in need of a little creative break, so I bring you this lovely Cuban dish.

While I was looking for something different to try, I came across the name of a beef recipe, which is Spanish for “old clothes”. I wasn’t super impressed with the name, but I started looking at the recipe and became intrigued. There are many different takes on this, but I basically pulled from the Weight Watchers recipe and another one I found.


You might be wondering why it’s named “old clothes”– it’s because of the way the beef is “ropy” like old clothes might become when they are rags. It caught my interest, because it was a way to have beef without any question of whether it was fully cooked/ not much touching of the meat. Score.  It reminded me of a Latin, spicy, slow-cooker meat loaf that was acceptable to use as a taco filling.

As fate would have it, the meat department at Kroger was out of the flank steak I was supposed to buy. I bought 2 pre-seasoned Flat Iron steaks, which they said was the closest thing. While it was was more money than I wanted to spend and higher in points, it turned out so delicious. I won’t ever make this without using flat-iron steak as the cut of meat.  I also loved that I saved time because I didn’t have to season the meat, I just tossed it on my grill-pan and let it brown for a minute.  A little of this meat goes a long way, because it’s sooo rich and delicious.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. I can’t wait to make it year-round, it has definitely won a spot in my rotation.

Ropa Vieja

Serves 10 (Freezes well)
4 smart points per serving


2 preseasoned flat iron steaks (or about 26 ounces of it, season with salt and pepper)
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cubanelle pepper, thinly sliced
1 unseeded jalapeno pepper (seeded or omitted if you don’t like it spicy!)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup tomato sauces
2 T tomato paste
1 T cumin
1 t smoked paprika
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T olive oil


ropa vieja

This comes out to  4 smart points in the recipe builder for about 3 oz of beef/ veggies.


  1. Heat a grill-pan (or other pan) on high for a bit to warm it up. Sear both sides of the steaks until they are brown, about 2 minutes per side.
  2. I used my food processor to shred all of the vegetables, de-seeding the bell pepper and Cubanelle pepper first. I also used this to slice the garlic (after peeling!).
  3. Mix all of the liquid ingredients in the bottom of a large slow-cooker. Mix in vegetables. Lay steaks on top, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until easily shredded with two forks. Salt to taste. Mix all together and serve with any garnishes you may want.Garnish ideas (not included in points/ nutrition)
    Lime, plain fat-free Greek yogurt, serve on rice/ tortillas, salad… really, this stuff is so versatile and filling, you could do no wrong. 

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