Monday, November 9, 2009

Homemade Chili Mac



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
Printer Version
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.


29 comments:

marla (Family Fresh Cooking) said...

Just perfect, love it!! Clean, simple and yummy!! No boxes over here for my family either. Yucky! Funny you should mention your time spent gawking at ingredients at the market. Me too! I stare at labels, baffled by the garbage they put into so called "food."
How about that idiotic "Smart Choices" program the government and sugary sweetened food companies put out there! It was the dumbest program ever.

Love the clean eats!! We are on to something girl!!

Chef E said...

I am with you on this, and now I want chili mac! My mom made this and goulash version growing up...I crave it all the time! Thanks for sharing your recipe...

Sue Sparks said...

Perfect fall weather for this perfect comfort food! Mmmmmm....YUM!

La Table De Nana said...

I bet my small grandsons would enjoy this en famille!!

Memória said...

As soon as I saw this photo, I thought, "OMG, this looks good." Wow. bookmarked!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I've never had chili mac but I'm ready to dive in. Looks great!

deeeeeeena said...

wow -- that would be so good on a cold, snowy day!

Jennie said...

Wow! I could totally eat this right now! It looks delicious!

Robin Sue said...

This is our favorite winter-time meal, we eat it at least once a month and the days following with plenty of leftovers. Homemade is the best!! Great Photo!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I don't eat meat except for seafood but I met I could replace it with some seitan. This looks great and I agree 100% that it's not worth the cost to our health to eat the boxed garbage in the long run. I mean look at the soaring health care costs in the US...

Coleen's Recipes said...

Excellent recipe, this is a GREAT one dish meal and the leftovers are PERFECT for lunch the next day because it just gets better and better (like soup) haha.

2 Stews said...

This is great retro food...and there were no boxes then!

I think this will be on the menu when my son comes home from school!

Thanks Laura!

Diane

Ginger said...

I am chuckling because I was having a conversation with my son who is in college and he said that he was sick of making boxed dinners that have ingredients that he can't even pronounce. It is like you were a part of the conversation and came up with this dish!! I know that he could make this. . . EVEN Mr. Picky Head would eat this! It is a keeper for me. Thank you for that and have a great week.

PS I have to come up with a different way of saying "Awesome photo?"

Kiara said...

I usually don't like chili...but oh my gosh, that looks delicious.

I think I just have an affinity for macaroni XD

Amber said...

Yummy! That looks delicious. I love your dishes!

On a side note, I deleted your latest post on my blog about getting the PW cookbook. I bought one as a Christmas present for a friend that reads my blog and I don't want her to know I have it. ;) I made her chocolate sheet cake this weekend. All I can say is O.M.G.!!!!!!

Trissa said...

This has got to be one of the ultimate comfort foods! Wish I could have a whole bowl of this now! You're absolutely right - why buy when you can make something this good!

Leah said...

my kidlets would love this.

beautiful photo as well!

L

Pink Little Cake said...

Laura, this look really yummy. I am always on the run, but boxed dinners or lunches are not made for me. I rather spend some extra time in the kitchen but at least I know what are we eating.

hannah | honey & jam said...

that looks really tasty. i can't wait to try it out!

Donna-FFW said...

Chili mac is a favorite here. Your version looks hearty and delicious!

Jenniffer said...

Found your blog through Pink Little Cake. That chili-mac looks AWESOME! I plan on making it tomorrow night for the hubby!

-Jenniffer
http://cupadeecakes.blogspot.com

Mary said...

Chili Mac is one of my favorite casseroles and this one looks delicious!

Memória said...

I just made this, and it is perfect! I didn't have coriander, but I put in everything else. Thanks for contributing to my yummy dinner!

ButterYum said...

How in the world did I miss this post? Oh my... sounds like perfect family fair! Love the cilantro and pepper jack cheese... garlic, garlic, and more garlic... ahhh!

:)
ButterYum

Veronica M. said...

I've never made or had chili mac until I used this recipe last night. It was sooo good! I didn't get a photo of it before we devoured it so you won't be seeing it around on myspace unless I make it again. Which is very likely. :)

Laura said...

Just found you from Schue Love, made this "man food" last night for the man and he went for seconds! (even though I forgot the green chilis! Oops) Yay, thanks for making this non-cooker Laura look like you!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Laura thank-you for making this and letting me know it worked for you! I'm so happy!

L

Domestic Goddess said...

Hey Laura, today I made your chili mac with a few slight modificatons.
I substituted shredded mozzarella cheese for the pepper jack, plus I used whole wheat elbow macaroni besides regular macaroni (50/50 ratio). I thoroughly enjoyed this main dish recipe. It reminded me of goulash, and I love goulash! Thank you Laura for posting this recipe. It's definitely a keeper!

Lisa said...

Oh I made this tonight for me and my boyfriend, it was simply wonderful - I was looking for a replacement for msg loaded hamburger helper and this blew my socks off - way better than I first thought :)
Keeper recipe!

Thank you!

-Lisa

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