Thursday, February 18, 2010

El Rancho Pasta Skillet

Wednesday nights are a little crazy around here. In order to get to church on time, we have to have dinner done by 5:45 so we can be out the door by 6:15. Since we don't know how the school day is going to go, dinner has to be a "no-brainer".

Okay. Maybe I do know how school is going to go and that's why I can't worry about a difficult meal.

I found the base for this recipe in an Amish cookbook. It is a simple, easy to prepare, one-skillet meal and most ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Think Hamburger Helper, farm style!

One quick note...I have decided to go gluten free as much as possible because I don't think wheat is my friend anymore. Maybe it never was. Maybe I wanted wheat to like me so much, that I ignored all the signs it was sending me. Maybe denial is really my middle name. Maybe it's an age thing. Whatever reason it is, I'm going to give it a whirl and see what happens.

That sounds like I'm not taking this seriously, but really I am. For 3 days, I've been in a withdrawal-induced fog. I can't remember anything, I'm tired and sluggish and have been experiencing headaches. But my stomach isn't making grumbly noises, my psoriasis is clearing up and I'm losing that bloated feeling.

I'm also dreaming about the Pillsbury Doughboy. But that's a whole other issue.

For this recipe, you'll need...

2 lbs. ground beef or turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 red, green, or yellow sweet pepper, diced (I forgot!)
1 1/2 Tb. chili powder
1 t. sea salt
1/4 t. ground pepper
1 quart stewed tomatoes, broken up
1-2 cups hot water
1-1/2 cups macaroni (I used brown rice pasta)
grated cheese (I used mozzarella and Parmesan)

In a deep skillet, start browning meat, breaking apart into smaller pieces. About mid-way through, add onions, celery and peppers. Cook until onions are translucent.

There shouldn't be any grease in the pan, but if there is, drain it now. Add tomatoes, spices, water and pasta. Start with 1 cup of water, then add more if needed.

Bring to boil. Place lid on skillet and turn heat down to simmer. Let cook until pasta is done, approximately 15 minutes. Turn off heat, then stir in cheese.

Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top, if desired.

For more frugal recipes, visit The Grocery Cart Challenge.


Michaela Dunn Leeper said...

Those look like some tasty vittles!!

Mountain Home Quilts said...

Hum, that seems easy and I do have all those ingredients in my house. My family will be thrilled at another "experiment" for dinner! ;)

Pam said...

I really enjoy reading your blog & wonder what I'm going to find each day :) Good for you for going gluten-free! I read another blog that has all gluten free recipes as she is celiac Apparently a lot of ppl are celiac & don't know it....Good luck on it & I hope you feel better soon! (aka 22angel on MJF)