Hello again! I hope you all had a great Labor Day and were able to spend time not…laboring? We’ll go with it. :)
Philip and I had a very low key weekend with no set plans, which was so nice! Things got done, relaxation happened, and I still wasn’t ready to go to work this morning. Sigh. Nevertheless, we had a great time spending quality time together and I even got a little bit of baking in, which seems to happen far less than I’d like it to these days.
But now that it’s back to the normal grind of work, it seems like life instantly picks itself right up again and awaaaaay we go! Life is such a ride, isn’t it?
What I mean is, although I plan out my meals on a weekly basis (I still have hopes to write about this in one of my upcoming posts), I always consider and plan in the fact that, more than likely, I have about 30 minutes to prep a meal after coming home from work before I feel the “hangry” side of me taking over. You know, becoming
very unpleasant angry because of your hunger. Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets like this.
Being the foodie that I am, if I could, I would gladly spend hours preparing an elaborate meal that includes several involved steps, one of which would be a half hour alone of chopping and dicing ingredients, and uses every bowl and utensil in the kitchen (as long as Philip is doing dishes). Not to mention, the table would be set with freshly made bread with homemade jam and a salad full of produce, picked just that morning from our garden.
That’s not real life. Sure, I plan out (and look forward to) “more involved” meals when I have the day off or it’s the weekend, but on week nights, meals that are fast yet still nutritious, fresh, and homemade is what’s on my menu plan. Recently, Homemade Beefaroni made it to our midweek menu that fit just that description.
This meal is quick to make and will be on the table in no time. Plus, it’s so much healthier than what you would get boxed or canned. Just a quick look at the nutrition facts of the popular Chef Boyardee Beefaroni showed a whopping 730 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving and several ingredients/preservatives that are foreign words to most people. I don’t know about you, but no matter how busy I am, I will always find time for something I can make before reverting to a canned meal.
To almost all dishes I make, especially “throw together” meals like this one, I add some kind of vegetable to it. In this case, I added a chopped green bell pepper. It hardly takes any time to chop up, it only enhances the meal, and it provides an easy serving of veggies to your day.
With whole grain noodles, lean ground beef, no-salt-added canned tomatoes, and pantry-staple spices that add tons of flavor, this meal has none of that “canned flavor” and you can be happy serving it to your family—even on those busiest nights. While the meat is browning, the noodles are busy cooking. Both are done close to the same time and everything comes together in one pot. Add a side salad or even just some cut veggies and fruit, and—Botta Bing, Botta Boom—you have yourself a balanced meal.
Add this to your menu plan for the week. When you feel the pressure as 5:00 approaches, stay calm because you have a family favorite that will come together before anybody gets hangry.
Adapted from: Gal on a Mission
- 1 lb whole wheat macaroni noodles
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ Tbsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp dried rosemary
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- Black pepper, to taste
- 6-oz. tomato paste
- 14-oz. no-salt added tomato sauce
- Parmesan or shredded Mozzarella cheese, optional
- Cook the macaroni noodles according to the instructions on the package.
- In a large skillet, add the ground beef and green bell peppers together. Cook until the meat is fully cooked and browned, drain and rinse.
- Add in the all of the spices to the meat mixture. Stir in the tomato paste and tomato sauce. Simmer on low for about 10-12 minutes or until the noodles have finished cooking.
- Stir in the noodles.
- Serve topped with Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese (optional).