The school year is officially in full swing! I have to say, getting my son ready on the first day was a tad stressful…thanks to a meltdown in the morning by my usually happy 2 year old. Boy, did he ever decide to throw a wrench in all picture plans by flipping out, throwing himself down into some rocks, and refusing to let me strap him into his car seat! Sound familiar to anyone? Good, I’m not alone!! I thought for sure my neighbors were going to call the cops on me for child abuse because he was screaming at the top of his lungs. They surely think I’m insane by now because it seems that someone is always screaming. I promise, we are “normal,” whatever that means. 🙂
Now that I’ve vented about the terrible twos, let’s talk about this delicious and lunchbox-friendly meal! This one is perfect for sending a hot lunch to school that your kids will actually eat, or just getting dinner on the table relatively quickly after school. There is not much for your kids not to love about this one…. and if they are on the fence about the carrots/peppers I would suggest dicing them super small and pretending they aren’t even there. I’m not a fan of “hiding” veggies in food, however I do have a slightly picky 3rd grader who changes his mind on a weekly basis about what is acceptable to put in his lunchbox. I feel you, I do!
Just because I have a blog about food does not mean all of my boys will eat everything I make without complaining. Every week last school year my son would complain about certain foods that I sent in his lunchbox that he previously loved to take. Eventually I just ran out of ideas and started making meals like this one so I could send the leftovers in his LunchBots thermos and be done with it! Most of his hot lunches would come home eaten, so I had to settle for putting veggies in creations like this one instead of sending them raw. You win some, you loose some!
- I used a colander to drain the grease from the meat/veggies. I tried draining the way I normally do and realized it was going to be an epic disaster if I proceeded, so I placed a colander in the sink (or over a bowl if you do it that way) and it was so much easier!
- You can absolutely switch up the veggies here, and get creative! I can see peas and green beans working really well!
- I didn’t know whether to call this a soup or a stew because it is kind of in between. At first it was thinner but the pasta will continue to soak up the broth and it becomes thicker. I really enjoyed the consistency because it was right in the middle.
- Yes, this recipe contains cheese because cheese is my friend, and has really never failed me. You can certainly omit the cheese if you would like, however I really loved it with just a slight hint of cheddar. It isn’t overpowering at all, just bumps up the taste a bit.
- I always use no salt added Bionaturae strained tomatoes when cooking a dish like this. If you substitute a product that contains salt, you will have to adjust how much additional salt you add. I prefer this product over canned because I feel it is safer and has a better taste.
Beef and Veggie Macaroni
By August 27, 2015Published:
- Yield: 6-8 Servings
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 30 mins
- Ready In: 40 mins
The school year is officially in full swing! I have to say, getting my son ready on the first day was a tad stressful...thanks to …
- 2 cups carrots, sliced I used baby carrots
- 1 bell pepper chopped
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 pound ground beef organic preferred
- 3 cups strained tomatoes or one 24 ounce jar, no salt added
- 4 cups beef stock
- 1 and 1/2 cups elbow macaroni whole wheat, whole grain preferred
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion salt
- 2 tsp kosher or pink himalayan salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp sugar or your sweetener of choice
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Chop all veggies. Place beef, veggies in a large soup pot and cook over medium-high heat until beef is browned and onions are translucent. Drain grease.
** I used a colander to drain the grease because it was the easiest way of doing it!
- Add tomatoes, beef stock, and bring pot to a boil. Add macaroni and simmer until pasta and veggies are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add all spices, salt, pepper, and sweetener. Finally add shredded cheese, stir to combine. Season with additional salt/pepper to taste.