Creamy Beef Noodles

What's the first meal you think of when you literally have minutes to throw something together and get it on the table to feed your family?

For me, it's pasta.  While the noodles are cooking, I can throw together some sort of sauce.  Sometimes I end up emptying my fridge of leftover odds and ends, since the sauce acts as a sort of "disguise" for all things healthy.   It's also a great day-before-grocery-shopping meal so that you can make room for the fresh new food you will be bringing home.

The only problem, for me at least, is that I get so sick of tomato sauce.  I just don't like it.  And it gives me heartburn.  I love creamy sauces, but can't afford the weight gain.  I always have a steady supply of fat free evaporated milk to substitute for cream in all sauces, and I never buy full-fat cheese (for fear of eating the entire block in one sitting), so this recipe seemed worth a try.

This pasta seemed a bit iffy when I reviewed the ingredients – I wasn’t sure how it was going to come out.  Turns out it was a huge hit with the family, and we were eating it for days afterwards.  I hadn’t made enough noodles, so for a couple of days we were even just eating the meat sauce with bread or naan.  A great weeknight meal – thanks Canadian Living!

Creamy Beef Noodles
1 T butter
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic minced
12oz lean ground beef (I used 2lbs – also from wag jag grocery)
1/3c flour
1 c beef broth
1 can evaporated milk (I used fat free)
1 c frozen peas thawed (I didn’t thaw them, they cooked nicely in the meat sauce, and I used 2 cups)
1 c shredded extra old cheddar (I used low fat no name old cheddar)
1/3 c chopped parsley (I skipped)
4 tsp Dijon (I used a little more, maybe 4T)
1 3/4c macaroni

In a large pan melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2 minutes.  Add garlic & cook 1 minute.  Add beef, cook 4 minutes.  Stir in flour, cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  Stir in broth & milk; bring to boil.  Reduce to medium and stir in peas, cheese, parsley, mustard, salt & pepper.  Meanwhile cook the noodles.  Drain and reserve 1/3 c cooking liquid.  Add pasta to sauce (I kept them separate and mixed as required in individual bowls). Tossing to coat and adding enough of reserved liquid for desired consistency.

Delicious!  And thanks to the absence of tomato sauce, my Tums got a break today!