Living on my own and with my partner, I came to love a few dishes that were quick and easy to make my just throwing some boxes or cans of food together. One of these was Chili mac. Simply put, a box of mac & cheese, and a can of chili in a pot. Simple, and tasty, but probably not too healthy to enjoy often. So I ended up finding a recipe that may take longer, but has a lot less salt and other preservatives. While the recipe calls for chicken broth, I personally like to keep my broths in line with meats when I cook, so I ended up using beef myself.
YIELD: 4 SERVINGS PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 10 ounces uncooked elbows pasta
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and ground beef, and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat.
- Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Top with cheese and cover until melted, about 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Legumes such as kidney beans are a great source of folate. A serving of this dish will give you nearly a full day’s recommendation for folate. Folate is a B vitamin that is needed for proper red blood cell development. Consuming adequate folate is associated with lower cardiovascular disease, lower risk of cancer, and a reduced risk of neural tube defects for pregnant women.