I was in a no-good mood yesterday afternoon. The sun was out (for once) and I was doing the mental gymnastics of everything that needed to get done for the weekend. I had to wrap up prep for a podcast before we recorded this morning, my blog received zero attention all week, I was quickly losing motivation to workout, my laundry was multiplying before my very eyes, and I’d spent 24 hours eating all the food with my best friend so nothing sounded good when it came to planning my weekly menu…
So when I pulled in to Aldi’s parking lot to see it JAM PACKED, just…ugh. I loved Aldi a lot more when it wasn’t the “cool” place to go.
It didn’t help that our babysitter flaked out on us. But in the end, an evening home was just what I needed. It allowed the time to wrap up the podcast, get some laundry done, sneak in a workout, and I even had time to paint my nails before finishing the last glass of Caymus Cabrinet Sauvignon. It was ALL GOOD.
The best part? I ate a salad for dinner (vegetables needed) while watching Ford vs. Ferrari on the couch with a fire going in the fireplace. I then stayed up way too late reading Sometimes I Lie which I’m really enjoying.
Today is going much better. Podcast – check. Grocery shopping part 2 – check. Laundry – almost check. Kids entertaining themselves – check. Blog – about to be a check. Boom, boom, boom. Excited for hockey tonight and a work week that will hopefully be less stressful than the last few have been.
Also causing stress? My choosy eaters. They have become increasingly more challenging to feed and the go-to seems to be pasta. I try to incorporate it once a week as a meal we can all agree on. Funny enough, as I’m looking to be more plant-based my girls are now quite vocal about their love for beef. I upped the veggies on this one and kept the beef for them (hard to have a Philly Cheesesteak anything without the beef). It was a hit, even if it isn’t exactly a looker of a recipe!
- 10 oz cavatappi pasta
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 onion, thinly-sliced
- 2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- ¼ tsp salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 lb 96% lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- Fresh chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup low-sodium beef stock
- 1½ cups shredded Italian cheese blend
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and keep hot.
- In a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter. Once melted and hot, add the sliced onion, green pepper, and mushrooms. Add the salt and black pepper to taste. Sauté the veggies until they are softened and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir; cook for 30-60 seconds or until fragrant. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the red wine vinegar. Pour the peppers and onions into the colander with the pasta.
- In the same skillet, add the ground beef and Italian seasoning. Crumble the beef with a wooden spoon as you cook until it is completely browned through. Drain off any fat. Add the pasta and veggies from the colandar into the skillet with the beef.
- Meanwhile, in the same pot used to cook the pasta, make the sauce. Add the butter and heat to medium heat. Let the butter melt and then whisk in the flour, whisking constantly for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the milk and beef stock, whisking continuously for 1-2 minutes.
- Allow the sauce to thicken for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Add the Italian cheese blend; stir until melted and smooth. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce over skillet with the beef, peppers, onions and pasta. Toss to make sure everything is well combined. Serve with chopped parsley, if desired.
Weekly Menu: February 9th – 13th
- Sunday: Black Bean Tortas with Coconut Chipotle Mayo (from Thug Kitchen) with oven fries and edamame
- Monday: Sweet Thai Basil Chicken
- Tuesday: salmon with baked (or mashed) potatoes and steamed broccoli
- Wednesday: Thai Peanut Veggie Rice Bowls (with tofu added)
- Thursday: leftovers OR pizza on cauli crusts OR banana pancakes (from Thug Kitchen)