In the spirit of the season, I made some chili-mac last night. (Chili-mac is chili with macaroni noodles in it, for those of you who didn't already know that.) I had never put noodles in my chili before, but last time I was home, my mom had a big pot of this in the fridge, and one night after coming home via taxi after a night of cocktails with some old friends, I stood in front of the open refrigerator digging in like it was my fourth meal.
I made this one meat-free, and with whole-wheat macaroni, so it's even healthy! It's lovely on a cold night, or you know, after a night of drinking.
Makes Eight 1-cup Servings
2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Cup Whole Wheat Macaroni Noodles (Dry)
2 Cans Organic Kidney Beans
2 Cans Organic Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
2 Large Ripe Tomatoes (not pictured)
2 Tsp. Chili Powder
1 Tbs. Gound Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper (Optional)Saute chopped green bell pepper and onion in the olive oil. Cook until onions are transparent and pepper begins to soften, about 8-10 minutes.
At the same time, boil a pot of water to cook the macaroni. Salt the water.
Rinse and drain the kidney beans and add to the pepper/onion mixture, along with both cans of tomatoes (do not drain.) **Mini Review: Interestingly enough, I used a can of kidney beans from both Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. I rinsed and drained both cans, and then put the beans back into the cans to store until I was ready for them. I was shocked at the difference between to two brands. For one, the Trader Joe's beans were redder, firmer and there were more of them! And they cost over $.30 less than the Whole Foods kidney beans. Ordinarily, I do my shopping at both stores, from now on I'll be buying my kidney beans only at Trader Joe's.
Chop fresh tomatoes and add to pot.Cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat. Lastly, stir in macaroni noodles and serve! I froze about half of this recipe in individual containers. I like to make my own "lean cuisine's" per se, and making a big pot of something and freezing some is also a great way to save money AND have healthy home-cooked meals available anytime.