Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chili Mac Not From a Box

I have known lots of people who make chili mac. You know? The kind where you make a box of macaroni and cheese and stir in a can of chili? All the better if it's Kraft, with its nuclear orange cheese mix. I honestly never could acquire a taste for the stuff. I like chili, and I like mac&cheese, but not together. However, on my quest to find healthier recipes, I wanted to branch out. Try some new things. Go out on a limb. You get the picture.

What sold me on this recipe was the overwhelming amount of tomatoes it contains. Score! Me and my love affair with tomatoes should get some therapy. It's getting a little out of control. I could seriously eat tomatoes straight, and sometimes I do. I eat tomatoes for almost every meal. How do I eat tomatoes at breakfast you may ask? I toast an english muffin, scramble an egg with cheese and add a tomato slice. That's how.

But, back to the recipe at hand. This makes a ton. I almost didn't have room in my skillet to hold all the ingredients. I really started to worry when I added the macaroni. I thought for sure, I would have an overboard moment. I didn't though.

This is a very simple dish to make. It doesn't require much effort other than opening all the cans, and browning some meat. It's very healthy with all the tomatoes and beans. So, enjoy a big serving, because it's got tons of vitamins and minerals. Most of the ingredients are those you would have on hand. A plus for me, since I love using up what's in my pantry.

I am a happy girl, because I had so much leftover, that I will have simple dinners for the rest of the week! Just microwave, add a salad, and voila. Dinner.

Cheesy Chili-Mac
from: Weight Watchers

2/3 pound extra-lean ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
29 oz canned stewed tomatoes, Mexican style
2.5 cups canned tomato juice
4 oz canned green chiles, diced, drained
2 teaspoons chili powder
1.5 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
31 oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

1. Coat a large skiller with cooking spray. Cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Drain off fat.

2. Stir in stewed tomatoes including juice, tomato juice, chiles, and chili powder. Bring mixture to a boil.

3. Stir in macaroni and beans; return to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until macaroni is tender, about 15 minutes. Spoon chili into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.