People seem to think that because I have a food blog I cook gourmet meals at every turn.
Seriously no, eh!
My husband is sworn to secrecy about just how often we call for takeout around here.
No folks, I am not running home after work to whip up burgundy lamb shanks, with grilled polenta and a hearts of palm salad, because really you'd have to be crazy to try to get a cranky toddler to eat THAT at the end of a long day after a late swim lesson.
My kids are troupers and will eat all manners of things that other children their age would not touch. Still they do have their limits and pizza rules over okonomiyaki any day. I enjoy leading them to discover as wide a variety of foods that I possible can but my budget and time doesn't allow for fancy dishes all the time. On weekends I might experiment with something new but during the week it's the regular show. starring a rotating line up of budget-minded, unfussy meals.
Actually I am happiest when preparing meals that don't require a whole lot of thought and are sympathetic to dwindling pantry supplies. This dish fits that bill and is versatile. You don't have canned diced tomatoes? Then use tomato paste and ketchup or tomato soup and omit the tomatoes. Hello left over spaghetti sauce languishing in in the fridge, you would be perfect for this! My favorite substitution is a bottle of salsa which gives the meal a pleasant zing. Feel free to include any other add-ins like corn, celery, and sweet peppers if you have them.
1 package of elbow macaroni ( 4 servings size)
2 tablespoons oil
3 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1 lb ground beef
1 large carrot
* I like the slight crunchy texture of the fresh carrot in this
1 8oz can peas and carrots
1/2 cup ketchup
1 14.5 oz can Hunts Rosemary and Oregano diced tomatoes
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoons salt
black pepper to taste
In a large pot cook elbow macaroni according to package instructions. drain and set aside.
Sauté onions and garlic in oil until translucent. Add beef and cook until beef is no longer pink. Add a little water if meat starts to stick to the pot.
When the meat is no longer pink add the carrots, peas and carrots, ketchup, diced tomatoes, and 1/3 cup water. Cook the mixture for about 10 mins on medium high heat. Mixture should look like a soupy stew. Add more water if needed. Enough to coat the pasta but not too watery to make it soggy. Remove from the heat and mix the pasta into the beef.