It’s been cold around here lately, so I’ve been experimenting with chili recipes and warm soups.  I love chili, but sometimes I just want to change it up a bit, so I took my normal chili recipe and turned it in to a creamier Chili Mac recipe.  I can’t tell if my kids actually liked it or not, since they were promised Chocolate Oatmeal cookies if they ate their dinner without complaining.  But they did, in fact, all eat it without complaining.  Except the baby.  But she’s a baby.

Chili Mac

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion, diced fine

1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced fine

3 cloves garlic, diced fine

1 small can diced green chili

2 cans kidney (or any kind) beans

4 diced tomatoes (they have less citric acid than canned, but you can sub canned)

2 Tbsp cornmeal

chili powder, to taste

cumin, to taste

salt, to taste

16 oz dried pasta

3 oz cream cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

sour cream or greek yogurt for topping

Saute onion and pepper in olive oil until they soften.  Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil the pasta to al dente.  Add garlic to the onion and pepper and stir.  Immediately add the canned ingredients and diced tomatoes (so your garlic doesn’t scorch). Season to your taste with the spices.  I think I use at least a tablespoon of chili and cumin, but I often just keep adding more.  Simmer for at least 20 minutes with the lid on.  Sprinkle in the cornmeal and stir it in so it begins to thicken the chili.  Melt and stir in the cream cheese.  Add the cooked pasta.  Sprinkle the cheddar over top and put the lid on so that it melts.  Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt.