Better-than-Mom's Stovetop Goulash with Macaroni, Tomatoes, and Ground Beef

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2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef (less than 10% fat)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 cups water
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
1 T Italian Herb Blend (I love the mix from The Spice House, but any Italian Seasoning blend will work.)
2 bay leaves
2 T soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning (or use your favorite purchased steak seasoning)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1 cup macaroni (I used Dreamfield's Macaroni, although after it cooks in the sauce for 30 minutes it's not really a low carb macaroni.)
low-fat sour cream for serving, optional

How to make it :

In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil, add the ground beef, and cook until it's well-browned, breaking apart with the turner as it cooks.  Push the beef to the side of the pan, add the onions and cook until the onions start to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook about 2 minutes more.
Add the water, tomato sauce, petite dice tomatoes and juice, Italian Herb Blend, bay leaves, soy sauce, garlic powder, Montreal Steak Seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Stir the mixture together, then cover the pan and simmer about 20 minutes.  
Add the macaroni, cover the pan again, and simmer 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaves, and let the mixture sit for a few minutes before serving.  (We only made it about 10 minutes, which was fine.)  Serve hot, with a dollop of low-fat sour cream if desired.

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