Mild and Light Chili Mac

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Ingredients:

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb lean ground sirloin
2 T chili powder
1T garlic powder
2 t dried cilantro
1 1/2 t cumin
1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper
2 t lime juice
2 (16 oz) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 (10 oz) cans chopped tomatoes with mild chiils or peppers – Rotel or Hatch work well.
1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
Water – measure by filling the three empty tomato cans so you get all the tomato goodness within
Garnish: 1/4 cup cilantro and shredded cheddar cheese

Spoon Mage™ Notes:

I like to use Gebhardt Chili Powder, but you can use your favorite brand.

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and red bell and sauté until the onion begins to soften. Add the ground sirloin, stirring until the meat is completely cooked. Drain off the excess fats and return the pot to the stove.

Add the garlic, black pepper, chili powder, and cumin to the meat. Stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the lime juice, the three cans of tomatoes, beans, elbow macaroni, and water as measured in the empty tomato cans.

Bring the whole to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes or until the macaroni gets very plump. Stir every now and then.

After the macaroni is cooked, taste, adjust seasonings. If it is too thick for your tastes, add a smidge of water at a time. If it is too thin, cook uncovered for a few extra minutes. The chili will thicken over time. If you make it early in the day, expect to add more water later.

Serve with the cilantro and cheddar cheese.

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