Chili Mac for Cold Winter Nights

I had yet another bagel with cream cheese for breakfast this morning. While it totally satisfies my salty tooth (like sweet tooth, no?), I’ve come to realize that it really does not keep me full for very long. I am a big fan of having a HUGE, filling, and nutritionally sound breakfast that keeps me full for a few hours. I notice that if I eat this type of breakfast (oatmeal with flax and/or chia seeds with pumpkin and almond butter is top notch), not only am I satisfied for a long period of time, I am also fully energized and do not mindlessly snack as much throughout the day.

For example, after eating the bagel with cream cheese and grapes I’ve also had an apple with Justin’s maple almond butter, half an almond brioche croissant, muffin bites, (curse you office pastries), coffee x 3 and I am still hungry. It’s not even 11:30AM.  Looks like lunch will come early. As delicious as the bagels have been in the moment, I’m constantly reminded that I need a more substantial breakfast.

Coincidentally I stumbled upon an “eating a smart breakfast” article from Cooking Light that I saw on their twitter feed this morning. Please note that Cooking Light did not contact me, I simply am a die-hard reader (I may or may not devote an afternoon at Whole Foods reading the magazine every month) and think they have great articles and recipes that I want to share. Smile

The article contains five elements to include in your morning breakfast:

  1. Eat Mindfully – sit down and eat. I do not do this nearly enough. I am go, go, go in the AM, and I usually take my breakfast on the road with me. This article brings up an interesting fact that if you eat on the go you are more likely to feel as though you did not have a meal. Must incorporate this into my daily routine!
  2. Include Lean Protein – protein take a much longer time to digest than carbohydrates (hi, bagel), keeping blood sugar levels in check which keep you satisfied longer. If you are a carb queen (or king), opt for whole grain which always has more fiber and protein.
  3. Fill Up with Fiber – yup. Typically the whole grain breads and cereals mentioned above have a ton of natural fiber. Both solvable and insoluble. Insoluble fiber is mostly not digested but takes up space in your stomach making you feel fuller longer.
  4. Front-Load Your Day with Nutrients – apparently breakfast eaters are more likely to have higher intakes of vitamins. Who knew? I also take (if I remember) a fish oil pill and vitamin D pill everyday with my breakfast.
  5. Savor Your Favorite Tastes – This is SOOO simple and obvious! Eat what tastes good to you! Okay, it may not be as simple as scarfing down an entire Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Lindt bar, but you should make your nutritional breakfast taste delicious! There are plenty of options out there – you should check our Cooking Light’s recipe index!

You can read the entire article here!

Speaking of lean protein, fiber and good tastes, I made the most delicious meal for dinner last night!

Chili Mac. I found the recipe from an old issue of Healthy Cooking.

I followed the recipe almost to a tee.

Starting with cooking the onions, jalapenos, lean ground turkey and garlic on medium heat until the meat browned.



I then drained the meat, returned it to the pan and added the remaining ingredients.


I stirred until combined and let it simmer on medium low heat until everything was heated through.

Meanwhile I gathered all the ingredient to make Hungry Girl’s cheesy corn muffins.


Except I ran out of egg whites. so that was interesting. I replaced one of the egg whites with applesauce. They still turned our divine.

About half an hour later dinner was served.


This was a BIG hit. Eric kept raving about how delicious it was and even went back for seconds. There are also tons of leftovers (hello lunch for the next two days).

Chili Mac (from Healthy Cooking):



2 cups uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni  *I used whole wheat shells

1 pound lean ground turkey

1 small onion, chopped

2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped  *I used 2 and it was just enough heat

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained *I used fire roasted – delish!

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce

2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese *I used reduced fat Mexican cheese


Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook the turkey, onion, jalapenos and garlic in oil over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper sauce and seasonings. Drain macaroni; stir into turkey mixture. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until heated through.

Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand until cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.

Cheesy Corn Muffins (Hungry Girl):


1 cup canned cream-style corn
2/3 cup all-purpose flour *I used whole wheat flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters) *I used 1/4 cup of egg whites and 1/4 cup of applesauce
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese *I used reduced fat Mexican cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated) *I used regular sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, cornmeal, Splenda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix together all other ingredients — then add the contents of the small bowl to the large one, and stir until well mixed.

Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray or line it with baking cups. Evenly distribute muffin batter among the cups.

Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes (until muffins are firm and a light golden brown). Allow to cool and then enjoy! Yield: 12 muffins

In fun online article news….

Twinkie Diet and Other One Food Diet Plans – this absolutely frightens me, as well as some of the other “one food” diets in the article…bacon, McDonalds (hellooo Super Size Me). Basically stating that calorie intake has a direct influence on weight loss. But what about nutrition people!!! I don’t think your heart would like you very much if you ate a 1lb. of bacon for 1 month straight. Except for the guy in the article who’s blood pressure supposedly went down. Seems shady to me…


3 thoughts on “Chili Mac for Cold Winter Nights

  1. Cathy says:

    That Chili Mac looks delicious! I love soups, stews, chili – real “rib-sticking” food for the cold evenings. Love the Hungry Girl website. I’ve tried a couple of the recipes, but was disappointed. What’s been your experience with the recipes?

    First time visitor – love your blog!

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