Growing up in New England, the winters were cold and we ate a lot of our versions of comfort foods. This is and always has been, one of my favorite dishes.
The basic ingredients:
That's a bag of Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta Elbow Macaroni, 2 1/2 pound packages of ground beef. One onion and a jar of light Ragu tomato and basil pasta sauce.
I will not now, possibly never, tell you how to do every little thing. I believe there are plenty of people who will be happy to tell you how. I will let them. Then, come back here.
First up, I boiled the pasta. It's gluten free, and that has one major drawback. If you follow the pasta bag's instructions, you will have a pot of mush. What is it with gluten free packaging that suggests pasta be mush, baked goods be burnt, oh, I could go on. DO NOT FOLLOW SUGGESTED cooking times. Use your noodle people!
While the pasta was boiling, I chopped onions. The organized person had all of their ingredients chopped and ready. I worked all day, then kept an appointment. I start one part, then get the next part ready. It's my dinner, after all.
Add some oil to a frying pan. How much? Enough to cover the bottom of the fry pan. Add your chopped onions to the oiled fry pan, and ...
Now, if you're crafty, you could add chopped garlic, peppers, mushrooms, carrots or celery. There's no limit to what you can add to your pan. Make it yours, add whatever makes you happy. I'm happy with plain chopped onions.
When the onions start to soften, add the meat. Chop up the meat, get the meat mixed in with the onions.
|Make sure to mix it all together|
|It should look like this. I pour off the liquid, do you?|
Okay, so have I told you there's no exact method here? I picked up a jar of my favorite sauce.
I love this sauce! I found it several years ago, before I could eat basil without saying how much I don't like it. I'm used to it, and it's the only one I'll buy. How about that, Ragu?
In my newly appointed pre-diabetic lifestyle, sugar grams count. So seeing 6 grams of fat for a tomato based sauce doesn't scare me. No Sugar Added. See it on the label below, on the left? Yellow letters. No Sugar Added. It's also low in fat. In fact, it even counted as a vegetable on an older Weight Watchers program. The only problem was that I don't love lots of sauce. So 1/2 cup sounded like a lot. 1/2 cup has 60 calories, 1 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 6 grams of sugar and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Plus Vitamins and iron. Have I gushed enough?
Now this could use a bit of salt to pull out the flavors. I don't use salt often, do you? So I add one my most favorite ingredients.
With this dish, I most certainly will have a salad. This one is my favorite. Calling Fresh Express!
Be smart, add other vegetables to your salad. Some of my common add-in's include carrots, cucumber, tomato, mushrooms. What are your favorite vegetables to add to the salad bowl?
Careful with the dressing. I keep promising myself that I will make my own. Stay tuned, but please keep breathing.
Of course, if you are a carb addict as I claim to be, take some Udi's gluten free hot dog rolls, add your favorite garlic spread or flavoring and toast them up. Yup! If I had just remembered to take a picture before I ate those. They got some parmesan cheese too. They were good.
Oh so many thanks to www.myblogspark.com. They sent me a $25 Publix gift card, so I could celebrate the Publix Viva Italian celebration and sale. They offered me nothing else. $25 to make an Italian meal. No shopping list, it was all up to me. So I made it my way, gluten free, sugar free and low fat. I hope you enjoy.