Smoky Southwest Chili Mac

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 lb 93% lean ground beef
2-14 oz canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
15 oz canned dark red kidney beans, drained
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons New Mexican chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 oz hot, cooked, jumbo elbow macaroni
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute the pepper, onion, garlic, and zucchini until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes
Add the beef. Brown, breaking up large chunks until nearly fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, spices and beans. Simmer until warmed through and the liquid is nearly completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cook 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately!

My thoughts:

Food Lion hired me to visit one of their stores and create a recipe for their recipe portal around some of the ingredients I found there. I first went to site to look at the circular to plan my attack. I was able to email myself a grocery list I created which helped keep it on track. I hadn’t been to a Food Lion in a while (they are a bit far from me and in hot weather I tend to shop closer to home) but I was really excited by what I found. I ended up with a ton of food I’ve been looking for (ground Siracha, anyone?) and the ingredients to make tonight’s dinner. We’ve been having a busy, slightly stressful time lately so some comfort food was in order. Since it is summer, I opted to make a stove top casserole and incorporate zucchini, the one ingredient everyone needs a recipe for this time of year! I found everything I needed, even Food Lion brand Jumbo Macaroni which I had never heard of before. They even had Muir Glen organic fire-roasted tomatoes which are my favorite and a product most of the supermarkets near me do not carry.

Since I found them, I played up the smoky angle and added smoky spices. The whole dish only took me 30 minutes to make start to finish and had a nice fresh flavor thanks to the fresh zucchini, jalapeno, and onion.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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