Every so often, when I’m really busy at work (like now), I seek out easy simple meals to prepare for my family during the week. The challenge for me is finding ones that are healthy and actually taste good, while still fitting into that quick and easy category. This recipe fits that bill. I found this recipe a while back in one of my cookbooks, and with work being so hectic for me the last few weeks, I decided that this past Tuesday night was a good time to test it out on the kids.
This dish is more like a chili than a stew — it generates very little broth. And it uses just a handful of easy every day inexpensive ingredients. From the time I washed and started cutting my peppers and onion, the entire meal took about 30 minutes to prepare. My husband and kids all agreed that this was a keeper, worth making again…although it was still a bit too spicy for our daughter (who has no spice tolerance whatsoever). So, next time, I will probably go with green bell peppers, or just a single Anaheim pepper, and perhaps half a tablespoon of chili powder if I’m making it for the kids. Jeff and I, of course, both added extra heat to our own servings by garnishing our bowls with red pepper flakes and habanero sauce.
- 1 cup small shell pasta (I used leftover dried small macaroni)
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped (I used two fresh Anaheim peppers)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced3 cans (5-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium V8 juice
- 1 can (15 ounces) Ranch Style beans (pinto beans in seasoned tomato sauce)
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Southwestern diced tomatoes, undrained
- ½ cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Red pepper flakes and hot sauce (optional), to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion, green pepper and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Drain pasta. Stir into stew.
- Serve in bowls, and add red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce to individual servings if anyone wants to up the spice heat.