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Easy beef

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

I was recently contacted by a reader who suggested I share a few easy recipes that she could clip and send with her college-student son. Lean ground beef was on sale at the grocery store and is easy to incorporate into quick and satisfying recipes. Ground beef is one of the most versatile go-to staples in a Midwest Kansas kitchen. It provides 10 essential nutrients your body needs like zinc, iron, protein and B vitamins.

In many ground beef recipes you can prepare the meat portion to freeze and send along. Your student simply thaws that portion and prepares the noodles as directed on the box. Noodles don't freeze well, however, I have found that rotini noodles cooked to al dente do fairly well.

Adding fresh fruit to the dinner plate completes this meal. I like the lunch-box sized apples and bananas because they are portable and stay fresh all week. You can rest well knowing your student can concentrate on studying with a full tummy!.


Beef & Rotini Noodles

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 (10.75-oz.) can condensed tomato soup
1/4 c. tap water
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 c. frozen sweet corn, thawed
6 oz. rotini pasta

Directions:

1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef with onion breaking up the beef into crumbles. Drain any fat.

2. Meanwhile, in a stock pot, prepare noodles according to package directions and drain.

3. Stir the soup, water, Worcestershire sauce, half the cheese and pasta into the skillet and continue to cook until hot and bubbling. Before serving, top with additional cheese.


Chili Beef Rotini

Ingredients:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 (18.3-oz.) box of ready-to-eat beef gravy
1 (10-to-12-oz.) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
6 oz. rotini pasta

Directions:

1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef with onion, basil, garlic powder and chili powder breaking up the beef into crumbles. Drain any fat.

2. Meanwhile, in a stock pot, prepare noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

3. Stir the gravy and vegetables into the skillet and increase heat until boiling. Reduce to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in rotini and heat until mixture is hot.


Cheesy Ziti and Ground Beef Pasta Bake

By Angie Sutton, www.mothersapronstrings.com

Ingredients:

1 lb. dry ziti pasta
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 (26-oz.) jars spaghetti sauce
6 oz. package sliced non-smoked Provolone cheese
1 1/2 c. sour cream
6 oz. finely shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and boil until al dente, drain. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.Butter a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Layer in this order: 1/2 the pasta, Provolone cheese slices spread to cover pasta, sour cream, 1/2 the sauce mixture, remaining pasta, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Apron Strings Tips:

This recipe can easily be cut in half or prepared in two smaller disposable aluminum pans for sending with your college-age student. Make it a freezer meal by dividing it into two 8-by-8-inch aluminum pans. Cool the meat mixture before layering. Complete all of the steps except putting it in the oven. The day you'd like to use it, simply move the frozen casserole to the refrigerator in the morning and bake at night. What I like to do instead is freeze only the meat mixture because our mornings are so hectic I may not remember to move it to the refrigerator. I can grab the meat mixture and throw it in the microwave on defrost for a few minutes while preparing the pan and the remaining ingredients. By the time the noodles are done, the meat is ready and we are set to assemble and bake. Dinner in a flash!

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