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This is about as far from gourmet as you can get, but it is yummy and filling, budget friendly, and FAST. Serve with crusty bread and butter if you have it, or with el cheapo white sandwich bread and butter if you dont. I came up with it to serve my 3 1/2, & 1 1/2 daughters as well as hubby, and in-laws when I wasn't expecting to feed anyone but my girls and hadn't been to the grocery store.
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I used Contadina with roasted garlic)
- 2 cups water
- 1 (7 1/4 ounce) boxmacaroni & cheese (cheese packet reserved)
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
- 1⁄2 lb browned ground beef (I season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic when browning)
- 1⁄4 cup milk
- 3 slices processed cheese
- Combine crushed tomatoes and water in pot and bring to a boil; add macaroni and stir. Meanwhile rinse frozen veggies under hot water to thaw, drain and add to pot along with ground beef; stir.
- In a small bowl combine milk and cheese packet stirring until there are no lumps; stir into pot.
- Break cheese slices into small pieces and melt on top of mixture and then stir.
- This will become very thick as the macaroni absorbs all the liquid, feel free to add more water for a soupier consistency (or tomato juice to avoid a watery flavor).
If you use your own pasta and make your own cheese sauce, it works a little better. Otherwise you have to eat it right away before the pasta turns to mush. As good as the boxed kind.