Well hello, hello! I feel like I have been MIA lately. Do you want to know what is to blame this time? The Hunger Games! I got so wrapped up in these books during the last week that I feel like I got nothing done besides read those books. You will be happy to know that I finished the series and I can now give you my full attention. I am, however, going to see the movie this weekend which I am very excited about! Are any of you addicted to these books and plan on going to see the movie? It seems like everyone I talked to was wrapped up in these books.
Well, besides my Hunger Games vacation, I also received my Cooking Light magazine over the weekend. I am pretty excited because they have an entire section for 40 meals under 40 minutes. I don’t know about you, but on the weeknight, I need a dinner that is easy and quick to pull together.
The first meal I picked from the magazine is a little unlike me because I am not a huge chili or mac and cheese person. Don’t get me wrong about mac and cheese- I do love it, but I tend not to make it because it is not always healthy. I picked a recipe for Chili Mac and Cheese and let me tell you… it was awesome! My boyfriend also loved it- when I offered him one more scoop, he happily obliged which he hardly ever takes seconds of meals. I loved this recipe because it was like a healthier homemade version of Hamburger Helper, which I use to love in college. Also this recipe is super easy and only uses two pots! Okay on with Chili Mac and Cheese.
Chili Mac and Cheese
1 tsp. canola oil
1 lb. ground beef (95 % lean)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
2 cups fat-free, lower sodium beef broth
1 cup water
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies (I used hot but you can also use mild)
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup fat-free milk
4 oz. of 1/3 less fat cream cheese
4 1/2 oz. of shredded reduced fat cheddar
Heat a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat . Add oil and allow to heat up. Stir in ground beef and all 4 spices and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Next add broth, water, and tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil and stir in elbows. Cover with lid and let cook for 10 minutes or until the macaroni has been cooked and most of the liquid in the pot has been absorbed.
In a small sauce pan heat the milk and cream cheese over medium heat, stirring constantly until cream cheese has been melted and combined with milk. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Add cheese sauce to the macaroni and stir well. Serving size is about 1 cup. Makes 6 servings.
Source– slightly adapted from Cooking Light, April 2012