Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tasty Chili Mac

I know, I know.  I already posted a chili recipe.  But trust me: getting a few chili recipes under your belt is essential to fight off the winter chill.  It's even more of a bonus if said recipe doesn't expand your waistline while it's warming you up! And besides, Punxsutawney Phill said there will be six more weeks of winter this year.  So trust me--you want to make this chili.  You need to make this chili.  'Nuff said. 

I usually don't follow a chili recipe, unless I'm trying something new. I usually just make it up as I go. However, this one caught my attention because it includes the "mac" part, for only 4 points. And between you and me, it's quite a large portion for only 4 points! Another good thing about this recipe is that it comes mostly from cans, so you can keep the ingredients on hand for an impromptu chili night. I usually double or triple the recipe and freeze leftovers. Note: If you don't want the "mac" part, just omit it, but then I would estimate that the points value would still be 4 points, but per 1 cup of chili (without mac).

Tasty Chili Mac

Serves: 6
Points per serving: 4
Serving size: 1 1/4 cup

  • 1 lb lean beef, 93% lean
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (Green or red. Whichever you can get your hands on.)  
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (Seriously, I might add more, depending on the size of the cloves. I like things garlicky!)  
  • 3 T. tomato paste  
  • 1 packet chili seasoning  
  • 1 T. chipotles in adobo, minced (If you like a really spicy kick. Leave it out if you don't.)
  • 14.5 oz can Rotel, mild
  • 1 1/4 c. tomato sauce  
  • 1 can green chilis (or more depending on your taste)  
  • 1 cup dry whole wheat pasta  
  • 15 oz can beans, any kind, drained  
  • Assorted chili toppings, like sour cream, cheese, green onions, etc. (Toppings will change point value of recipe)
  1. Add onions and bell peppers to your desired pan and sweat on medium heat in a LITTLE bit of oil or Pam spray. 
  2. Add beef and brown.  
  3. Add chili seasoning and stir.  
  4. Note: This next step is VERY important. Do EXACTLY as I say, in the order that I tell you: Before you add the garlic, measure out the tomato paste. Have it ready to go. Add the minced garlic to the pan. DO NOT WALK AWAY! Once you get a strong whiff of the garlic smell, IMMEDIATELY add the tomato paste and mix it into the beef and veggie mixture. This will keep the garlic from burning. Don't burn the garlic! There's nothing worse than burnt garlic!  
  5. Cook the tomato-pasted-mixture a little bit, until the paste turns a darker red color. That will help to deepen the flavor of the paste, add to the complexity of your chili, and take away the metallic taste of the raw paste. Just don' t burn the tomato paste, either.  
  6. Once you see the paste starting to deepen in color, add the chipotles (if using), Rotel, tomato sauce and green chilis.  
  7. Turn up the heat to high and bring the whole mixture to a boil. If there's not enough liquid to boil, add some water.  
  8. Add in the pasta and beans. Bring chili mixture back to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until the pasta is done (approximately 15 mins).  
  9. Top with your favorite chili toppings and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Weight 

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