One-Pot Cheesy Beef with Veggies

People.  Really?  Really with this "summer is over" business?

Don't we have, like, 15 more days of warm weather and flip flops to count on?  Please don't take that away from me just yet.  I'll be forced to overreact.

I think about it this way: am I still grilling food?  Yes.  Do I still sweat like a freak when I run outside at 6:30am?  Yuh huh.  Is the grass still being mowed and are the tomatoes still being eaten?  You betcha.  And do I still have another week at the beach to look forward to?  Heck, yeah I do!

So please don't say I have to retire my Soffe shorts just yet.  I know I'm a 30-year-old dressing like a cheerleader while never actually having been a cheerleader, but they're part of my summer household uniform.

Now.  In the spirit of back-to-school, who likes easy-to-make, cheesy, carby comfort food that you can eat out of a giant bowl on the couch while not watching politics/sports/evening news... a.k.a. watching Toddlers and Tiaras?  Raise your hand.

I know that was maybe the weirdest question ever.  Because seriously who doesn't?

You're in luck.  This is that.  This is that and it's healthy!  Everybody wins today.

This Whole Foods-inspired cheesy beef casserole is super delicious, super healthified, and easier to put together than a bowl of cereal.  (You know what I'm trying to say.)  Using lean ground beef is a healthy way to enjoy the red stuff without all the guilt, and adding five kinds of veggies plus whole grain pasta and light cheese make this dish hearty and good for you.  And it really doesn't get easier than this.  We're talking a one-pan cleanup deal.

So fine.  Everyone's all back-to-school and hating on the remaining days of summer.  I get it.  I'll give you a quick, weeknight meal to help you ease into the school year, but can we cool it with the dramatics?  I plan to squeeze out every drop of this glorious season, thanks.

One-Pot Cheesy Beef with Veggies
Inspired by Whole Foods Market
Yields 4-6 servings

1 lb ground beef, as lean as you can find it
1 c frozen corn kernels
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 package whole wheat egg noodles
1 c reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

Heat a Dutch oven or large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through.

Add the corn, onion, pepper, carrot, and salt/pepper to the pot.  Stir well to combine.

Spread the uncooked noodles evenly over the mixture.  Next, sprinkle the cheese over the top of the noodles, and pour the can of tomatoes and their juices over the top of everything.

Tightly cover the pot or skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 1 hour.  Uncover the pot, stir to combine, and continue to cook for 5 minutes.  Serve hot!

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