Thursday, January 2, 2014

Skillet Cheeseburger Macaroni

On the days that Ben has to travel out of town for work, I usually plan super kid-friendly meals.   It''s not that Ben doesn't like kid-friendly food but I guess I just feel outnumbered when he's away.  Don't get me wrong, I still make sure that we get our vegetables but it might just be on top of a pizza instead of a salad.

When I do my meal planning I try and take into account their teenage palates.  They probably don't think so, but I do take special efforts to include foods that they like to eat.  Unfortunately, the food preferences of my kids changes DAILY.  (If you have teenagers - or kids of any ages really - you know exactly what I mean.)  It's nearly impossible to predict what foods they will like and which foods they will find repulsive on any given day.

So when dad goes out of town, I opt for easy dinners that I THINK the kids will like.  I usually stick to pasta and pizza and chicken for my finicky teenagers.  Not to mention the fact that the kids don't really appreciate time-consuming, complicated recipes.  They're super happy with a hamburger - not so much a gourmet duck burger.

Skillet Cheeseburger Macaroni
1 pound 85% lean ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onion
12 ounces elbow macaroni
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
salt and pepper
6 ounces chopped deli american cheese
1/2 cup chopped dill pickles

Cook beef and onion until beef is no longer pink.

Add macaroni, broth, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Bring to a boil. 

Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook on low for 8-10 minutes.

Add cheese and pickles.  Season with salt and pepper.

I'm not sure if this is a compliment or not but BOTH kids walked past the dinner table and immediately said "Mom made hamburger helper?".  I guess my dinner really did look like hamburger but thankfully, it tasted a little better and it had a LOT less sodium. 

I also stopped by Jimmy Johns and picked up some of their day old bread for 50 cents!  It was a perfect compliment to this easy weeknight meal.

So there you have it, my super simple weeknight meal that my kids just gobbled up.


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