When it comes to cooking dinner, I am typically a planner. I like to plan my menu for the upcoming week, make my list, and go grocery shopping.
I was under the weather this past weekend though, and never even got around to making a menu let alone going shopping. My husband graciously volunteered to go to the grocery store during the day on Monday. I decided to take this opportunity to play my own version of “Chopped”, if you will. The only things on my list for him were: skim milk, garlic, and onions. I told him to get whatever proteins and vegetables looked good to him and that I would figure out what to make when I got home later that night.
I came home to a great array of ground beef, chicken breasts, pork chops, spinach, broccoli rabe, and tons of canned tomatoes, vegetables, and beans. (It’s currently that big “Can-Can” sale at the supermarket, so he stocked up.)
It was already after 6:00 by the time I got home, and I didn’t feel like eating at 9:00 pm. I wanted to make something quick, so I decided to use the ground beef, some crushed tomato, and a can of corn. (Look out for recipes with the other ingredients soon! I can’t wait to make the broccoli rabe!) I decided to make my own version of Hamburger Helper. I never really had Hamburger Helper growing up (honestly!), so I used this recipe as my inspiration. I’m not really sure if this is similar to Hamburger Helper, but it was super satisfying and delicious! My husband raved about this meal for two nights! I’m calling it Beef and Macaroni with Corn.
I only used half a box of pipette pasta in this recipe, so it wasn’t that much pasta. (Yes, I’m still cutting back on carbs!) It was a great shape pasta to use because most pieces ended up with a little of the meat, sauce, and corn inside of them, making each bite extra satisfying. The absolute best part of this meal, though, was that it literally took me 15 minutes start to finish! (I don’t think that has ever happened before in the four plus years I’ve been cooking dinner regularly!) I totally could have made this on Chopped and been down in time!
Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil for the pasta (since you’re only using half a box, don’t use a ginormous pot. I used a 2.5 quart pot, which worked just fine and cut back on the cooking time)…
- Cook the pasta to al dente. (Follow the instructions on your box. Mine was 8 minutes.)
- Meanwhile, chop an onion.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- When the skillet is very hot, add 1½ pounds ground beef.
- Break the meat up with a wooden spoon.
- Add the onion.
- Stir to combine.
- Cook until the beef is browned and the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 teaspoon of cumin to the browned beef.
- Sprinkle in a ½ teaspoon of chili powder.
- Season with s&p, to taste.
- Add 1 small can of corn, drained.
- Add about 16 ounces of crushed tomatoes. (I used about ⅗ of a large can.)
- Stir, and bring to a boil.
- Add the drained pasta.
- Stir again to coat the pasta, adding a little more crushed tomatoes if it seems too dry to you.
- Check the seasoning and add more s&p if need be. (I added just a little more.)
Top with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese when serving. Enjoy!
Two Years Ago: Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
Beef and Macaroni with Corn (serves 4)
- 8 ounces uncooked pipette pasta
- 1½ pounds ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ground black pepper
- 1 small can corn, drained
- 16 ounces crushed tomato with basil
- shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil.
- Salt the water, add the pasta, and cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the ground beef.
- Break the beef up with a wooden spoon.
- Add the onion.
- Stir and cook until the meat is brown and the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
- Season the beef with the cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the corn and crushed tomato.
- Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Add the drained pasta.
- Stir, adding a little more crushed tomato if too dry.
- Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Top with some of the cheddar cheese.