The busy school year means that dinner planning often gets pushed aside. Moms and dads alike may find themselves opting for the drive-thru instead of the dinner table. But that’s not the only option. Homemade Quick Chili Mac Skillet was created with busy weeknights in mind. Not only is it quick and easy, it's a family-friendly and healthy dinner that you can feel good about serving.
Start with everyone’s favorite elbow pasta, but not just any pasta. Choose one that offers some extra benefits that traditional pasta doesn’t provide. For example, Dreamfields Elbows are made from durum wheat semolina, which ensures the taste and texture of traditional pasta, but with a nutritional boost. Five grams of fiber per 1-cup cooked serving and fewer digestible carbohydrates make it a delicious and healthy option to traditional pasta.
While the pasta cooks, brown ground beef and onion, making sure the beef is completely cooked. Stir in a pinch of chili powder for a peppery kick; add diced canned tomatoes and kidney beans – super simple. On these time-crazed days, swapping out hand-chopping for the can opener makes a lot of sense.
Simply toss the chili with the pasta, sprinkle with cheese and serve a delicious one-dish dinner that will get the entire family back to the table. A green salad or fruit would be a great way to round out the menu.
Rotini Greek Salad
8 ounces Dreamfields Rotini
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
4 ounces Roma tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Cook Rotini according to package directions; rinse in cold water and drain well.
Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, basil and oregano until well blended.
Toss pasta gently with vegetables and dressing mixture.
Refrigerate before serving.
With Spicy Shrimp
1/2 of a box uncooked Dreamfields Angel Hair
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (28 ounces) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped basil (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook 3 to 5 minutes, until cooked through. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes; cook until garlic is tender, about 1 minute, stirring constantly. (Do not let garlic burn.) Remove shrimp from skillet; set aside.
Stir tomatoes, wine, parsley and basil into skillet. Continue cooking until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and pasta to skillet. Continue cooking just to heat through, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and additional chopped basil, if desired. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Stir-fry with Linguine,
Beef, and Vegetables
3/4 box Dreamfields Linguine
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons oyster sauce, divided
2 tablespoons white wine, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
1 pound beef top sirloin cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium, fat free chicken broth, divided
1 pound Chinese broccoli, cut into bite size chunks or florets (see note)
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
Sesame seeds (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pan.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon each soy sauce, oyster sauce and wine. Whisk in cornstarch until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil and beef; stir to completely coat beef. Marinate, covered, 30 minutes at room temperature. (Refrigerate if marinating longer than 30 minutes.)
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet or wok over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high. Add 1/2 cup broth; bring to boil. Add broccoli; cook 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Transfer to plate.
In same skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of beef; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until no pink remains. Transfer to plate with broccoli. Repeat with remaining oil and beef.
Add remaining broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, wine, sesame oil and sugar, if desired, to the same skillet; bring to boil over medium-high heat scraping up any browned bits from the pan. Add linguine; cook and toss 2 to 3 minutes until liquid has almost completely evaporated. Return beef and broccoli to skillet; add tomato slices and sesame seeds, if desired. Toss to combine. Season with pepper to taste.
Chef’s Note: Broccoli rabe (rapini) or broccoli florets may be substituted for the Chinese broccoli.