Remember two weeks ago, when everyone stayed up past midnight to watch the election results right on the heels of Hurricane Sandy and just before a big Nor’Easter? Yeah, that’s when I made this. This cheesy lazy thing. I’m pretty glad it’s in my repertoire with the holiday craziness rolling in.
Sweet n’ Spicy Macaroni and Chili
- 2 cups (1 16-0z. package) small whole wheat shells
- 1 can (14.7 oz.) Trader Joe’s vegetarian chili (or similar)
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of coconut milk
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salsa
- Salt, to taste
- optional but snazzy: 1 TBSP chutney
I used orecchiette, when I couldn’t find the small whole wheat shells I wanted; Trader Joe’s Organic Vegetarian Chili; shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese (Target brand); Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk; Trader Joe’s Smoky Peach Salsa; and Trader Joe’s Mango-Ginger Salsa.
Obviously you can make this with real chili, any variety of salsa, another kind of shredded cheese, and dairy milk if you eat those foods. I personally love how this is safe for lactose-intolerant and vegetarian seekers of comfort food.
Set a medium sized pot of pasta on to boil. You want it slightly undercooked as it will continue cooking in the final pan. Once the pasta is done, set aside in a bowl.
In the same pan you cooked the pasta in, add the chili and cheese. Stir in the coconut milk, salsa and a pinch of salt.
Cook over medium heat until the mixture is warm and the cheese is melted; toss in the pasta. Stir, add the chutney if using, and taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve warm!
The original recipe also offered the following substitution to make the dish vegan: 1 cup Daiya vegan shredded non-dairy cheese, or 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and 1/4 cup coconut milk.
You can also feel free to add in a dash more coconut milk if this comes together too thick, and if you prefer even more heat than the salsa and the chutney offer, splash in some tabasco sauce or some jarred jalapenos (maybe these?)
Recipe inspiration came from healthy slow cooking.