Why buy the MSG loaded boxed garbage when it’s nearly as simple to make your own healthy version? It always scares me a bit when I read the back of ready to assemble meal boxes. I spend hours in my grocery store scanning ingredient lists giggling and freaking myself out for fun. Do it sometime and watch the funny looks people give you!
I can’t even pronounce some of the ingredients, if you can call them that. I don’t know where they’re from, what they really are, and if they should even be considered food.
Seriously though, make your own versions of those boxed meals whenever possible. They’ll taste better and you won’t have to tell your family you fed them sodium hexametaphosphate, calcium lactate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, and monosodium glutamate for dinner.
Crazy chemical-laden cheap food products might cost less, but in exchange we pay with our health. No thanks. I’ll cut costs somewhere else.
Homemade Chili Mac
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ¼ pounds ground beef (organic if possible)
Salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder for seasoning beef
1 onion, diced
1 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped mild green chiles
8 ounces (2 cups) elbow macaroni
2 cups water
2 to 4 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro to taste
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
½ cup Tillamook Vintage White cheddar or other favorite cheddar
Freshly ground pepper
Sour cream & parsley for garnish (optional)
1. Heat oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat and add ground beef and diced onion. Season with a dash of salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Once the meat is no longer pink, strain off the grease in a colander and place the meat mixture back in the pan.
2. Add chili powder, cumin, onion powder, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, minced garlic and brown sugar and cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
3. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, can of green chiles, elbow macaroni, and 2 cups water. Stir to combine, cover and keep at a high simmer for about 14 minutes or until juices are absorbed and macaroni is tender.
4. Stir in pepper jack, vintage cheddar, and cilantro and season with freshly ground pepper. Taste for salt and add if needed. Garnish with sour cream and parsley if desired.
Recipe and photograph by Laura Flowers.