We have had an illness that's swept through our family for the past week and it's been a drag. Since I was sitting at home with sick kids, I went through and organized some photos that I recently took and I came across the ones below. They made me think about one of the joys of parenting - the opportunity to sit back and observe my kids experiencing joy and the ability to experience the world through their eyes.
|Feeling the sunshine and breathing evening air|
|Interacting with nature|
|And exploring new places|
|Learning to do hard things|
|And gently touching tiny living things|
I wouldn't classify trying to find food the whole family will eat as one of those "joys" but it's a great moment when I make something that everybody eats and enjoys. This initially didn't sound great to me (maybe the name?) but it's a combination of fresh ingredients and familiar, favorite dishes.
When I took the picture, it was just ready off the stove. The sauce thickened up as it sat a little bit and coated the noodles more like macaroni and cheese. I particularly liked that you can make it in one pot and it only takes about a half an hour.
One Pot Chili Mac & Cheese (4 servings)
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced onion
8 oz ground beef or ground turkey
4 c. chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
3/4 c. white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 c. kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp. chili powder
1.5 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
10 oz uncooked elbow / macaroni pasta
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley
Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, and ground beef and cook until the meat is browned, about 3-5 minutes. Drain excess fat.
Stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and stir in pasta. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 13-15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Top with cheese and replace the cover until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. At this point, I stirred it up but you can leave it and serve it with the cheese on top.
Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.