There is a meal in a box out there that sometimes busy moms turn to when they need to quickly feed their family. A large white hand with a smiling face promises all you have to add is meat and you’ll have dinner on the table lickity split. If at this point you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s good. But if you’ve been tempted to let this “helper” aid you in the kitchen I have a recipe that is simple, healthy, and fast.
My sister, who has NEVER made any meal out of a box, passed this recipe on to me. She’s a new ,busy mommy, and she now understands the challenges of getting a nutritious meal on the table easily. Best of all she sometimes looks frazzled. This makes me happy because I’ve been looking frazzled for the last 12 years. Welcome to Mommyhood!
Here’s the ingredient list:
2 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta noodles (elbow macaroni, or whatever shape you fancy)
2 pounds buffalo meat or lean ground beef (90/10)
1 medium onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups reduced fat cheddar cheese
First cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. In another skillet brown the meat, onion, and garlic until the meat is no longer pink. (If you are using lean meat you should not have to drain it, but if you do see some fat in the skillet drain it off). Add the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, chilies, and seasonings. If your skillet is big enough you can add the noodles to the meat mixture. If you don’t have room that’s okay you can layer the noodles and meat mixture when you put it in the pan.
Spray a 13 X 9 inch pan with cooking spray. I was able to divide this mixture into two pans. One 13 x 9 and a smaller 7 x 11, I felt that I could stretch this meal into two. Anyway, place the noodles and the meat in the pan and bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes with a foil covering. When it starts to bubble around the edges it should be ready.Remove the foil sprinkle cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted.
This is great served with a side of coleslaw or a big green salad!
It’s difficult to see, but this casserole dish I inherited from WB’s grandmother. It’s been around for many years and I can’t help but wonder how many casseroles have been made in it!
Tell me have you ever used the “helper” in the kitchen? It’s okay to be honest, we’re all friends here