Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Not from a box
--Spanish Noodles ‘n’ Ground Beef

Spanish Noodles ‘n’ Ground Beef
The Taste of Home Cookbook Copyright 2006

1 pound ground beef
1 small green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 ¼ cups uncooked medium egg noodles I used whole wheat and added extra noodles
1 can (14 ½ ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup water I added more water since I added extra noodles
¼ cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

1) In a large skillet, cook the beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the noodles, tomatoes, water, chili sauce, salt and pepper.
2) Cover and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the noodles are tender, stirring frequently. Top with bacon. I mixed the bacon in.

Makes 5 servings.

This is another one of those Hamburger Helper style recipes. It was just as easy to make (especially if you have a handy mini-chopper) and you can control what you put in there. This wasn't earth-shattering but it was enjoyable enough for a quick weeknight meal. I'm always a little bit hesitant to cook pasta right in with everything else but the texture of the pasta in this recipe was fine - not the same as pasta boiled separately, but perfectly fine.

I used organic tomatoes in this because I happen to think organic canned tomatoes taste better. That may not be true, but that's my perception. I have to say, the 'organic' thing is really getting out of hand. A year or two ago, I started buying some organic products and only one store carried much of anything in that category. Now you see organic everywhere you turn. That would be a great thing if you could trust that label.

Seeing the major food companies try to take advantage of the term organic to increase sales bothers me. The other day I saw organic Oreos. Well, Oreos 'made with organic flours'. I didn't stop to read the package but I'm sure those Oreos only had a small amount of organic ingredients in them. I also saw organic salad dressings, pickles, Rice Krispies, and other organic products from companies that have sold non-organic products for years.

What's nice about the 'true' organic farmers and companies is that they're really committed to organic food. These other companies are just trying to increase sales by jumping on another band wagon (after low and non-fat, low-carb, and the whole-grain thing that is still going strong). What bothers me is that eventually these tactics are exposed and the term organic will have a negative connotation. People will read a few articles about these pseudo-organic foods and assume that all organic products are a rip-off.

Blast From The Past: Cheeseburger Macaroni from January 2006, another recipe in this style.

Question of the Day: Have you jumped on the organic bandwagon?


Anonymous said...

Paula, I am so hungry! And this looks so yummy! I just printed out the recipe to make at home!
I can't wait to make it.
Thanks for sharing your recipes with us!

Heather said...

What a coincindence, I made a homemade chili macaroni last night. I really didn't follow a recipe, but it turned out pretty good.
Maybe I will have to try this one too.