Friday, August 19, 2011

American Classic Knock-Off

Rough day?  Too many errands?  Having the typical what-to-do-for-dinner blues?  Been there!

Prior to our wedding day, my husband's eating habits consisted of chips, Ramen noodles, frozen pizza and... Hamburger Helper.  Although I love a nice big bowl of Hamburger Helper every once and a while, I cannot eat it as often as my former bachelor.

Anything with pasta is an easy "go-to meal" for me.  One night, I had thawed some ground beef and intended to make spaghetti.  But... SURPRISE, no spaghetti noodles in the pantry.  So I began throwing vegetables and spices into a sauce pan until it resembled a Hamburger Helper knock-off.

Prep time = 10 minutes
Cook time = 15 to 20 minutes

Mara's Ultimate Cheesy Macaroni
- 3 cups of elbow pasta
- 1 lb ground meat
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 TBSP red wine vinegar
- 2 TBSP Pasta Sprinkle (or something similar)
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat Colby jack cheese
- 1 TBSP low-fat milk
- Salt and pepper to taste

Boil pasta in a large sauce pan.  Drain and set aside.  While the pasta is boiling, brown the meat in a separate fry pan or skillet.  As the meat begins to brown, add the onions until the meat is completely brown and onions are soft.  Combine the meat, pasta, spices, EVOO and tomatoes into the large sauce pan.  Simmer for 3 or 4 minutes over medium heat.  Sprinkle with vinegar for extra flavor - you won't need much.  Add salt and pepper constantly... adjust seasoning as needed.  Add the cheese and milk at the end.  Combine thoroughly.  Cover over low heat for 3 or 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve.

My husband said that it was better than the store-bought hamburger helper.  I definitely recommend this dish for an easy dinner night.  Add a simple salad for a side.  It's easy but still delicious.

Have a great weekend, readers!

We could all use a hint of more time!
Copyright 2011 Hint of Thyme.  All rights reserved.

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