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Chili mac 'n' cheese
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This one-pot dish will quickly become a family favorite, and it’s so adaptable. Change it up, if you like, by subbing lean ground chicken or turkey or using different beans, such as cannellini or black beans.
½lb 95% lean ground beef
4-5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 can (15oz) pinto beans, not drained (the liquid helps to thicken the chili)
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 can (4oz) diced mild green chiles, not drained
1½ cups (6oz) macaroni pasta
2oz shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
½ cup sliced scallions
- Spray a heavy Dutch oven with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Crumble in the beef; let sit undisturbed for 1 minute, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, until the pink color is gone. Add the chili powder, cumin and the salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir 30 seconds.
- Stir in the bell pepper, celery, onion, and garlic and cook stirring frequently, reducing the heat if necessary, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the broth, beans (and their liquid), the tomatoes, chilis and 1 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir in the macaroni and return to a boil, stirring often, as the macaroni will want to stick. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender.
- Ladle into deep soup bowls and sprinkle each with some cheese and scallions. Serve hot with a large salad on the side.