MAMA’S HOLY MACARONI

Hello sister and friends! I am finally posting my very first recipe to share. Apologies for the long…very long wait, this is something very new to me. Quite frankly, I didn’t know how to construct my page in the beginning. But then I realized that maybe I could share my cooking recipes and experiences since I love cooking and baking. Although, I have to say that I’m still a beginner in baking. Cooking, I am more comfortable with. What should you expect from my page? From my kitchen, I will be sharing with you recipes that my family love and for sure will give you tips on how to modify them. I will also share some modifications I have made myself, according to my family’s preference and taste.

In our home, we try to be as healthy as we can with our food. Being conscious of what’s in our food, I make an effort to be as natural with our ingredients as possible. For instance, we love chocolate cake. Nothing better than a moist chocolate cake with creamy icing right? But we know cake, in general, is not a healthy food. So how do we make that healthy in our household? I use whole wheat flour, and cut the amount of sugar and salt to make it. I also try to look up recipes with ingredients that are in my pantry. If there is any I have to buy, I make sure it’s something I will be using alot. As we go along, you will get a feel of how we try to be healthy with our food.

Ok, here’s the first dish I am sharing with you: Mama’s Holy Macaroni. It’s actually my version of Chili Mac and Cheese. I am so excited about this because this is actually the first time I made it for my family. And they loved it! It is so good that I can’t stop thinking about it even when I’m already full! So in this recipe, I used 3 1/2 lbs ground beef and made chili with it first. When it was done cooking, I saved half of it for another meal. I am also certain that you may use ground turkey, pork or chicken with this recipe. So here it is;

MAMA’S HOLY MACARONI (serves 4-6, prep time: 1 1/2-2 hrs on stove, 3-4 hrs on slow cooker)

*
3 1/2 lbs ground beef (90% lean)
*
2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
*
4 cloves minced garlic
*
2 medium or 1 big diced onion
*
1 diced bell pepper, preferably green
*
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
*
1 small can tomato paste
*
1 15.5 oz can red kidney beans*
*
1 15.5 oz pinto beans*
*
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree**
*
1 lb shredded mild cheddar cheese***
*
Spices and seasoning:about 1 or 2 pinchesof salt, pepper, hot paprika, chili powder, cinnamon, 3 dried bay leaves, basil, oregano and parsely
*
14.5 oz elbow macaroni

*you can use any kind of beans you like although for chili, red beans is normally used; **optional ingredient; ***sharp cheddar may also be used

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. On medium heat, warm up oil in a skillet or wok (if using a slow cooker), or in a pot. Saute garlic and onion until onion is translucent, then add peppers. When peppers have wilted abit, add ground beef to brown. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the spices over mixture.
2. After about 7-10 minutes, add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir mixture until everything has dissolved. When all meat has almost browned, add beans including liquid. After about 5 minutes, transfer chili into a slow cooker if using one. Set on high. If cooking on a pot, lower heat and let simmer.
3. When chili is done, set aside half for later. The other half goes to a big mixing bowl. Cook pasta according to directions and preheat oven to 350 deg F. When pasta is done boiling, mix with the chili in the bowl.
4. Add pumpkin puree and some spices if desired and mix. Transfer mixture to a 9×13 baking pan and top with shredded cheese. Bake until cheese has melted or browned, about 25-30 minutes. Serve with salad and/or garlic bread.

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