This post is sponsored by Northeast Loves Beef
One of the hardest parts about being a special needs mom is trying to figure out what works daily and what absolutely does not. At the beginning of the school year, my son came home and declared that he was NOT eating school lunch anymore. There was nothing at all that he liked, and it turns out he wanted his mom to make lunch for him. I was up for the challenge.
Mom to the rescue
I started with sending him easy sandwiches, a small snack and fruit. Then he got tired of it pretty quickly, and said to me after dinner–wouldn’t it be awesome if I could take hot food to school? (There are no student accessible microwaves in his school). So I went on amazon and purchased a thermos. I even added some permanent vinyl on it with his name because I REALLY didn’t want him to lose this moderately expensive thermos.
Beef A Roni Request
I asked him what he would want to bring to school to possibly eat and his first response was “Beef-A-Roni” and since I am not into the canned stuff I looked up a recipe on Pinterest and put my own spin on things (aka made what I had in the pantry work because I was NOT going back to the grocery store :)) This recipe was actually quite delicious the entire family loved it and I think my husband was actually sneaking and eating some when I wasn’t looking! I’ve been heating it up for him and sending it with him in his thermos with a little extra cheese sprinkled on top.
I am so excited to partner with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative‘s National Beef Up Nutrition Month Campaign to show how far beef can go. This Beef A Roni recipe is full of protein, satisfying and makes enough for leftovers the next day!
There aren’t many things you can control in an unpredictable situation but when you get something right you have GOT to take the time to rejoice. Here is the super easy recipe. I substituted fresh thyme for ground thyme, fresh basil for ground basil and a quarter of a fresh onion versus onion powder and I used about a quarter less cheese than the original recipe.
The original recipe is found here at Mostly Homemade Mom:
- 16 oz box elbow macaroni
- 1 lb 90% Lean ground beef
- 2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
- 1/4 onion minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh diced basil
- 1 teaspoon fresh diced thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook macaroni in boiling water until done, about 6 minutes, drain. While pasta is cooking, brown ground beef in a large skillet, drain.
- Add beef back to the skillet and add in tomato sauce, onion, basil, thyme, oregano, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Taste sauce and add additional salt if needed. Add cooked macaroni to tomato sauce mixture, turning to mix well.
- Spread half of macaroni mixture in the bottom of a 4 quart baking dish. Sprinkle 3/4 cup cheddar over, then repeat layers with remaining macaroni and cheddar.
- Bake in 350 oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through.
Northeast Loves Beef is giving away and awesome gift basket! Be sure to enter to win!