Quick to Fix- Hamburger, Cheddar Mac

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What a beautiful day it was today.  I know it was just a tease of Spring as the 70 degrees today will be 40 degrees tomorrow, but I will take it!  I forgot how noisy it was to wear flip-flops as it has been so long since the weather was nice enough to pull out my favorite footwear.  The day just seemed to move so effortlessly—even dinner was a breeze.

This is one of those easy recipes that you most likely have the ingredients in your pantry already.  I had to make a few changes tonight….I realized after getting all the way through preparing dinner that my handsome fella had used all the cheddar cheese to make mac and cheese earlier in the week.  So we used mozzarella instead.  I prefer cheddar, but the mozzarella worked just fine.  The recipe also calls for tomato paste but when I don’t have any, I just use tomato sauce and it does the trick.

Hamburger, Cheddar Mac

Prepare per package directions:

  • 1 1/2 c uncooked elbow macaroni

Heat pan over medium-high heat and brown:

  • 1 lb ground beef

Remove the beef from the pan, drain and place aside.

Add to the pan to saute for about 2 minutes:

  • 1 onion (about 1  to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced

Stir into the pan:

  • 2 T of tomato paste (or 4-8 oz of tomato sauce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions, undrained (our can also had celery in it)
  • pepper the top of the mixture well, to taste.
  • Add a pinch of salt

Cook this mixture, stirring occasionally, for about two minutes or until it begins to thicken.

Stir in:

  • cooked macaroni
  • cooked beef
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Cook until the cheese is melted.

 

The base for this recipe came from a Cooking Light magazine back in August of 2004—but I’ve tweaked it to the above and I’m sure the calories and fat data no longer match up with what was printed with it!

I hope you enjoy it—I had it on the table in about 35 minutes- start to finish…even with walking down to get my girls from the neighbor’s house where they were enjoying the warm weather day.

 

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