A couple of nights ago I was walking home from the subway and thinking about what I might make for dinner. I was feeling lazy, so, I thought I’d put together one of my favorite dinner hacks… a frozen dinner bulked up with extra protein and veggies (my go-to is a Lean Cuisine Fettuccine Alfredo with added chicken, broccoli and peas). I knew I had a Smart Ones Macaroni and Cheese, but, didn’t think chicken sounded like exactly what I wanted… and then I got an overwhelming craving for Chili Mac and Cheese.
Of course, I wasn’t the first person to think of making a “skinnier” Chili Mac, so, a quick Google search turned up a bunch of options.
This one (from ohsweetbasil.com) is what I started with. It looked delicious as-is, but I had a feeling I could adjust it for some more protein-friendly macros (and to make it even easier, since I’m all about convenience). And I was right! This is what we went with for cooking club… and our first attempt was AWESOME. We will definitely be making this again.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 red pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pound ground turkey breast (or 96% lean ground beef)
2 cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes with chilis
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup whole wheat macaroni noodles
1 cup shredded cheese, plus more for topping, shredded (we used regular shredded cheddar because sometimes you just need to have full fat cheese… but you can certainly try it with reduced fat cheese if you want to)
Taco seasoning (to taste)
1 cup water
in a large dutch oven or other pot, heat olive oil on medium heat and saute onion, pepper, and garlic until softened (about 3 minutes)
Add turkey and cook through.
Stir in tomatoes and beans and add taco seasoning to taste. Add noodles and water, bring to a boil, and then lower to medium-low heat.
Cook 10-15 minutes uncovered, until noodles are the texture you like them.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese. You can serve with more shredded cheese if you like.
For each of 8 servings: 345 calories, 8 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbs (7 grams of fiber), 39 grams of protein. (Don’t forget, if you use the ground beef and/or reduced fat cheese, that will change your macros!)
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