Monday, February 29, 2016

Chili Cheeseburger Macaroni

Very easy and kid friendly meal. The cellentani noodles are a lot of fun. They are basically a long elbow in a corkscrew shape. Barilla brand makes them and you can find them at Walmart. Serves 4-6 people.

1/2 pound ground beef, browned and drained
3 cups beef broth
1 (15-ounce) can chili style diced tomatoes (do no drain and cut into smaller pieces with kitchen shears)
OR 1 can petite diced tomatoes plus 1/2 T chili seasoning mix. 
1 packet taco seasoning mix (reduced sodium if you can find it)
8 ounces cellantini noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
6 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper
sour cream (optional garnish)

Combine cooked, drained, ground beef in extra large skillet with broth, entire can of tomatoes, and taco seasoning mix. Bring to boil and simmer over medium low or low, covered, for 5 minutes. Add noodles and continue simmering, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Meanwhile, in a separate medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and whisk continually over low heat for 1 minutes. Slowly add milk while whisking. Once it begins to thicken add the cheese and stir to melt. Remove from heat and keep covered. Once the noodles have cooked for 10 minutes, add the cheese sauce to noodle mixture and carefully stir until incorporated. Continue cooking on simmer, covered, until noodles reach desired tenderness. If sauce is too thick, you can add more beef broth or water.  Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to casserole dish before serving on the table. Top individual servings with a dollop of sour cream (optional).

    Adapted from Six Sisters.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Indian Curry and Yellow Basmati Rice

Chicken can be substitute for cubed tofu. Spices can be found at Asian and Latin American stores for much cheaper than a regular grocery store. Serves 4-6 people

1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp dried ground ginger)
1 jalapeno seeded and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups chicken broth
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup coconut milk (or cream or evaporated milk)
3 medium chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons butter

Heat oil over medium heat in a deep skillet. Add onion, ginger, and jalapeno. Stir frequently and cook until onions are tender and clear, at least 5 minutes. Add remaining spices and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Scrape entire contents into a blender.

Add chicken broth and tomato paste to blender and blend until smooth, at least 1 minute. Pour back into pan. Add coconut milk and bring to low simmer. Add chicken, salt and pepper, and sugar. Cover and stir occasionally until chicken is cooked and sauce starts to thicken. Add butter and stir until melted. Adjust sugar and salt to taste. Serve over yellow basmati rice (see recipe below) or any preferred rice.

Variation: Replace half of chicken with fresh cubed pineapple.

Time Saver: Use a heaping tablespoon of jarred minced jalapeno instead of a fresh jalapeno.

adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Yellow Basmati Rice

Pairs well with any Indian curry or just as a flavorful side dish.

2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups basmati rice
3 cups chicken broth

Heat the butter, turmeric, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and salt in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir and heat until the butter has melted.

Add the rice to the pot. Stir constantly and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes to slightly toast the rice and spices.

Add 3 cups of chicken broth. Place a lid on top, increase the heat to medium high, and bring the pot to a rolling boil. As soon as it reaches a full boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer (with the lid in place) for 15-20 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed and the grains are tender. Check at 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, salt to taste, and serve.

Adapted from

(Rice recipe updated 9-19-16, reduced amount of rice to 1.5 cups)