Menu Planning may sound like a lot of work, but it's actually one of the laziest things I've ever done. Since I started planning our meals for the week (and eventually the month) I've noticed some improvements in the way we eat and in the way I shop. Knowing what's for dinner not only saves time, it saves money and helps us eat healthier as well.
By planning out the week's meals I can make a more effective list for the grocery store and purchase only those items that we will need for the week. I make fewer impulse and duplicate purchases, and have practically eliminated the mid-week run to the grocery store—not to mention those impromptu take-out nights.
And if you display your menu where the family will see it, you'll never hear the words, "Mom, what's for dinner?" again!
Monday, March 3, 2008
Italian Noodle Casserole
1 pound lean ground beef
1 box Kraft macaroni & cheese dinner
1 can Delmonte-italian style-stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon oregano or basil (optional)
1/4 teaspoon-or more to taste-garlic powder (optional)
1 8 ounce package shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
Crumble and cook the ground beef until it is browned and no longer
pink. Drain if necessary. Add the tomatoes, milk, spices, and cheese
packet from the macaroni & cheese dinner, making sure to stir well so
there are no clumps of cheese powder. You can use a fork or potato
masher to break up the tomatoes if desired. Allow to simmer until
slightly thickened (approximately 5 minutes.)
Meanwhile, cook the macaroni noodles until just underdone,
(approximately 5 minutes) and drain. Add the noodles and half the
shredded cheese to the beef mixture and stir. Top with the remaining
cheese and simmer approximately 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened.
*The extra spices are optional, but I think it's bland without them,
even with the seasoned tomatoes.