Tonight is my last night of single parenting for the month of October – woohoo! Mark has been to India, Brazil, and Chicago, each for just shy of a week. Yes, I’ve binged on Netflix’s Workin’ Moms (highly recommend) as well as my book, In the Dark, Dark Wood. Can’t say I’m complaining about any of that! The 90 minutes between the girls in bed and my head hitting the pillow flies by.
When Mark is traveling, our lives don’t change a ton (other than in the kitchen), but we never rarely hear from him. He is a terribly communicator when traveling. It’s like he falls off the face of the planet and I hear from him whenever I hear from him. I’m used to it by now. I was shocked, even, to get a text from a co-worker’s phone one morning saying Mark’s phone was on the fritz and to contact her if I needed to get ahold of him.
In fact, not only is Mark going to be home for a few weeks, but I am leaving for Philadelphia to attend the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. I’m leaving Saturday, meeting my podcast co-host there, and we’re going to tear it up. Cannot wait!
With Mark’s extensive travel, the girls and I have kept meals relatively simple. Last night, I had to teach from 5-8pm so it was a long day and our nanny had them in bed by the time I got home. It took a lot of willpower to resist trying out Door Dash for the first time and instead, opted for a microwaved sweet potato with rotisserie chicken + BBQ sauce + avocado – a combination I happen to love, but that took 8-10 minutes. I know, I know. But when you’re hangry, you’re hangry.
Tonight, I whipped up a meal using some freezer ingredients – pesto shrimp pizzas (on naan) with leftover spaghetti and “eggplant parmesan” (not breaded and baked vs. fried). I loved the eggplant parmesan – the girls loved the pizza. With turkey pepperoni…that Piper calls “macaroni” instead of “pepperoni”. Cutest…thing…ever. Melts my heart every time. Even Shea chuckles and says, “Aw, she’s so cute!”
When Mark WAS home this month, it so happened to be chilly and I whipped out a meal I knew the crew would love and that would leave us with LOTS of leftovers. This is like a goulash meets a hamburger helper and despite its unsavory appearance, it was rather tasty! And also rather healthy! Better yet, I served it with roasted Brussels sprouts and my kids inhaled those, too. The combination was great – a very fall-like meal that is a family pleaser, for sure!
- 5 cups dry egg noodles, cooked
- 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- ½ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
- ¾ cup frozen corn
- 2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese, divided
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add egg noodles and cook according to directions; drain and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large, nonstick skillet cook the ground beef until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into crumbles. Add the onion, green pepper, salt, and pepper to the skillet and cook about 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning; cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Pour tomato sauce and diced tomatoes into the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring well to combine ingredients.
- In the large pot used to cook the egg noodles, combine the noodles, beef mixture, peas and carrots, corn, and half the cheese; mix well and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 25 minutes.
- Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley, if desired.