Cheesy Chili Mac
Cheesy Chili Mac
April 22, 2013

Has dinner become ho-hum at your house, but you find you don't have energy to try complicated sounding recipes? It's easy enough to stop and pick up a pound of ground beef from the store or remember to thaw some from the freezer. Brown the ground beef and mix it with a few other ingredients and your ordinary dinner will turn into something extraordinary.

Cheesy Chili Mac

It is always nice to have supportive friends at work. My colleague Connie Farley is an avid follower of Weight Watchers and has introduced me to several Weight Watchers recipes. Recently she brought this dish for lunch, and it looked so good I asked her about it so I could find the recipe to make for my family.

cooking spray

2/3 lb uncooked lean ground beef

1-2 medium uncooked onions, chopped

1 (29 oz) canned stewed tomatoes, Mexican-style (undrained)

4 oz canned green chili peppers, diced, drained

(Instead I used one 29 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies)

2 1/2 cups canned tomato juice

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 servings uncooked macaroni, elbow-size

1 (31 oz) canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat. Cook beef and onion until meat is browned, stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon as it cooks, about 10 minutes; drain off fat.

Stir in undrained tomatoes and their juice, tomato juice, chili peppers and chili powder; bring mixture to a boil.

Stir in macaroni and beans; return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until macaroni is tender, about 15 minutes. Spoon chili into bowls and sprinkle with cheese. Yields about 1 cup chili and 1 tablespoon cheese per serving.

Chinese Hash

This is a dish from my childhood. I recall my mom making it quite a bit growing up. My guess is she liked that she could throw it together and then have one hour to complete other household tasks while it cooked in the oven. As a single working mother and three children, she had plenty to do, but she had made time for home cooked meals. I rarely remember eating restaurant food unless it was a special occasion.

1 lb hamburger

1 small onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/2-3/4 cup raw rice

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of mushroom soup

1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup

2 cups water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

chow mein noodles (the crunchy ones in a bag)

Brown hamburger and onions. Add celery, rice, soups, water and sauces. Pour into a sprayed 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, stirring a couple of times during cooking. Top with chow mein noodles and bake 10-15 minutes longer.

Zippy Beef

Tam Milligan

In 2004 Marianne Walsh, of Carroll, hosted a bridal shower for me at her home. My PEO sisters gave me a collection of favorite recipes. Zippy Beef was one of them and certainly fits the category of ways to jazz up an ordinary dinner.

1 lb hamburger

scant ½ cup elbow macaroni

1 cup cream of mushroom soup

¾ cup milk

½ teaspoon minced onion

¾ cup crushed potato chips

2/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown hamburger and onion. Boil macaroni according to package directions and drain. Mix together cooked macaroni, soup, hamburger, ketchup, and milk. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle chips on top and bake uncovered for 10 minutes.

Hamburger and Noodle Stroganoff

Julie Greteman

This was another recipe in my collection from my PEO sisters. There is no better gift than recipes to give to a new bride who became a mother of two.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook and drain 4 oz egg noodles.

In a large skillet sauté until golden brown:

¼ cup margarine

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 clove chopped garlic

1 (6 oz) can mushrooms, drained

Brown 1 lb ground chuck, remove from heat and add:

1 tablespoon flour

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

¼ cup Burgundy

1 (10.5 oz) can beef broth

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.

Blend in:

1 cup sour cream

½ cup parmesan cheese.

In a lightly greased casserole dish layer meat, noodles and mushrooms. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 25 minutes.

Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes

Turn up the volume on your boring sloppy joes with this version from Southern Living and add jalapeño peppers if you'd like.

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño peppers (optional)

1 tablespoon liquid from pickled jalapeño peppers (optional)

1 (11.25 oz) pkg frozen garlic Texas toast

1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well. Return to skillet. Stir in tomatoes, next 3 ingredients, and, if desired, jalapeño peppers and liquid. Cover and cook 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Texas toast according to package directions. Serve beef mixture over Texas toast; sprinkle with cheese.