Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chili Mac

Chili Mac was a meal we had often growing up.  My grandmother used to make it when my dad was little and then my mom started making it after she and my dad were married.  I think one of the reasons why we had it so often was because it uses ingredients that are usually on hand and are fairly inexpensive.  I added the diced tomatoes and mixed cheese into the dish rather than just having it as a garnish.  To me, this is comfort food that makes my tummy very happy.

1 lb. ground beef
1-1 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni or other short pasta
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can light kidney beans
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Here's how it all comes together:

Begin cooking the pasta per the package instructions and brown the ground beef and drain.

Add the diced tomatoes (I usually drain them so it's not too soupy).

Add the can of kidney beans (you can drain or not, I drain a little of the liquid but don't rinse).

Add the cooked and drained macaroni or other pasta.

Mix it all together to combine and cook over medium-low heat.

Add enough ketchup to coat the entire mixture.  The amount will depend on how much you like and how the other ingredients absorb it.

Add in a handful (or more) of the shredded cheddar cheese.

Mix the cheese in to melt throughout the mixture.

This part is optional.  Place into a baking dish and top with some additional cheddar cheese and back at 350 degrees until melty.

Growing up we just served it right out of the skillet and topped it with additional ketchup and shredded cheese.  It's up to you how you want to serve it.

The Verdict:

Mr. Picky Pants tolerates this dish because I love it, but it's not his favorite.  He claims to not like the beans (even though I don't think you can really taste them).  This recipe is also a little like a recipe he ate growing up so I think he resents the fact that I won't make that and instead insist on making this one.  In an attempt to trick him I baked it in the casserole topped with cheese, but he said it didn't taste any different than usual.  either way, this is an easy recipe that is great as leftovers and provides a lot of protein without a ton of fat.  Even though it's not his favorite, Mr. Picky Pants will probably be eating this for years to come.


I apologize for not updating this riveting blog in almost 3 months.  I've been writing and documenting recipes in that time, but haven't had a chance to sit down and post them.  One of the main reasons I have been so busy is I am nearing the end of my Master's degree and the holiday craziness didn't help either.  Within the next few months I will become Mama Schquigs, MPA and will be no more qualified to write this blog.  In addition to many other "resolutions" I am hoping to post one new recipe each week in 2012.  We'll see how that goes.  Feel free to yell at me if I start to fall behind again.

Thanks for reading!