A Soul Warming, Busy Mama’s Winter Recipe

Here’s something my mom made at least weekly growing up. It’s super versatile, and I eat it until I can’t eat anymore just because I love it so much.

I love this recipe because not only can you throw just about anything your imagination fancies into it,  it’s delicious, nutritious, and cost effectiveitious. Which is probably why my mom made it so often- four teenage girls can do some serious damage to a pantry, and this stuff will go pretty far.

Problem is, I don’t know what to call it. Chili Macaroni just sounds yuck, and if you were to find it in a Betty Crocker cookbook, I’ll bet that’s what they would call it.  But I don’t think it’s in there, so here’s the recipe for you, illustrated and in color.

Thank my Mother and Enjoy!!!!!

Brown 1.5 lbs. of ground beef in a shiny skillet.

Fill your favorite nostalgic pot with water and set it to boil.

Assemble the rest of your ingredients. 1 small jug of veggie or tomato juice, 1 large or 2 regular sized cans of kidney beans, a box of macaroni, peppers, 1 scallion- greens and all, and  1-2 spoonfuls of chili powder.

I left a few things out of the picture but don’t you forget them: 2 cups of frozen corn and a pint jar of tomatoes (a 15 oz. can of whole tomatoes will work too), juice and all, and nicely kitchen-scissored up.

And don’t ask me why some is organic and some isn’t. I can’t answer that, but I’m fully aware that it makes little sense.

Chop up the peppers and scallion.

When the water boils, add your  macaroni and stir it several times to keep it from sticking. My nostalgic pot has a thin bottom (unlike me), so I have to stir it at least once a minute when I’m cooking pasta. And don’t let this pasta cook to al dente. Drain it a minute or two before it’s ready. That way it won’t get mushy when you add everything else to it and heat it up.

After draining the macaroni, add the peppers, corn, kidney beans (drain ’em first), about 3 cups of tomato/veggie juice, and chili powder.

Put it back on the stove on medium low- medium heat. Stir it often, especially if your nostalgic pot has thin bottom syndrome too.

Your  ground beef should be finishing up about now. Drain the grease into a bowl, then give it a quick little rinse with hot water in the sink. This way you can get away with buying the 85% lean ground beef, and not have to pay for the more expensive, leaner beef. It’s cheating, but in a good way!

But if you don’t mind not having a thin bottom, then skip that step.

Add the ground beef to the macaroni pot and mix her up real good.

Once everything is hot, serve it up! Hide the veggies under cheddar cheese if your munchkins have veggiephobia issues like mine can have sometimes. It’s good for them too, and their bottoms don’t need to be thin anyway. I pile mine up with cheese even though I don’t mind seeing the veggies. It just tastes soooo good….

I made this last night and despite the two and a half bowls each that Doc and I had, we barely left a dent in it, so you can feed a crowd if need be with this stuff.

Leftovers tonight!!


3 thoughts on “A Soul Warming, Busy Mama’s Winter Recipe

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