I hear it all the time.
"I donâ€™t have time to eat healthy!"Â
These moans are audible from stay-at-home and working moms, bachelors, single-ladies and college students alike. Heck, at my house, weâ€™re empty nesters and are busier than ever!
But, nothing compares to the health and satisfaction of a home cooked meal prepared with wisely chosen ingredients. Does it take some planning? Yes. Does it take some organized shopping? Yes. Does it take a lot of time? Nope.
Ever heard of a crock pot? Well, OnMilwaukee.com sure has. The genius of this countertop slow-cooking appliance has been heralded several times on this very site and itâ€™s about to get a shout-out again.
No crock pot? Kitchen rebels can make off-label use of their rice cooker, like I did for the recipe below.
Most rice cookers have different settings for various grains. Try using the setting that will cook your creation the longest (usually the brown rice setting) for more of a slow cooker effect. The great thing about using a rice cooker for one-pot meals is that the "white rice" setting will give you a quicker cooking option, with all the convenience and flavor of a crock pot meal!
Anyone can cook and enjoy healthy feasts with these common kitchen appliances. Itâ€™s as simple as throwing in a few ingredients, switching it on, going about your day as it does all the work and then simply serving it right from the vessel it simmered in.
So, when I was challenged byÂ ModernMom.comÂ to create a new twist on RagĂş's Family Favorite Chili Mac to celebrate the reformulation of theirÂ RagĂş Old World Style Traditional Sauce, I knew what I had to do.Â
The recipe youâ€™ll find below is easy, economical, flexible and made with ingredients you may even already have in the pantry, fridge and freezer! Iâ€™ve included variable options for meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans without losing any flavor.
I encourage you to try RagĂşâ€™s new sauce recipe (itâ€™s richest, thickest yet!) made with 11 juicy tomatoes in each jar. Feel free to get creative in terms of proteins and veggies and even vary the type of beans!Â The possibilities are endless and allowÂ youÂ to create your very own "Tra-Dish" each time you prepare this meal.Â
The process of creating this dish was extremely rewarding for me and I hope that when you make it for your family, youâ€™ll feel just as great when a wholesome meal brings your family together to dig in! Please Tweet or Instagram your take on this recipe and tag me (@lindsaygarric) with hashtag #NewTraDish so I can take a look!
RagĂş New Tra-Dish Chili Mac with vegetarian/vegan option
- 1 pound ground protein of your choice (Omit for the veggie version and use an extra can of chili beans or rinsed, drained, canned plain beans of your choice or use 1 pound veggie "meat" of your choice.)
- 2 cups dry pasta of your choice (I like gluten-free brown rice or quinoa pasta)
- 1 jar RagĂş Old World Style Traditional SauceÂ plus 1/3 jar water
- 1 chili spice kit
- 1 15.5-ounce can chili beans
- 1-2 bags pre-washed fresh or frozen vegetables. Use as many veggies as you can fit in your cooking receptacle of choice. Examples are baby spinach, broccoli, cauliflower or kale or frozen mixed veggies.
Layer all ingredients into the crockpot, slow cooker or rice cooker prepped with non-stick spray in the order listed above. Vary cooking time to your needs. Gone all day? Cook on low for up to 8 hours. Want a shorter wait? Try the high setting for a 2-3-hour cooking time.Â Or try using the white rice setting on rice cooker for your meal in an hour or less. Stir before serving.
VisitÂ Facebook.com/RaguSauceÂ for more easy and delicious Authentic Italian recipe ideas. And for a chance to win great Authentic Italian themed prizes, including a grand prize trip to Italy for a family of four, enter the RagĂş Sweepstakes at RaguSweeps.com
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Lindsay Garric
Published Sept. 28, 2015
In an age of Apple Watches and Google Glass, shouldn't laptops be impervious to water damage?
Published Sept. 9, 2015
Today, as I pull out the remnants, I remember the crazy outburst of my very first garden and all of its significance gets etched into the big picture of food production.
Published Aug. 24, 2015
The Blue Moon rose on July 31, 2015. This astrological wonder hadn't occurred since 2012 and won't varnish the sky with its indigo face again until 2018. To my delight, the early hours of the "morning after" presented a celestial show that will have to sustain me until I can witness it again.
Published Aug. 5, 2015
Lindsay Garric gets personal with Alice Cooper - her husband, Chuck, is Cooper's bassist - and asks him five great questions. Cooper gigs in Milwaukee on Friday, Aug. 7.
Published July 19, 2015
In addition to the hefty work it does through the family support group, the CJ Lomas Foundation has hosted The CJ Lomas Recovery Foundation Golf Outing each year to raise money for opiate recovery organizations and to provide financial assistance for those in need to get help. This year, the event takes place on Friday July 24.
Published June 30, 2015
Sluts can relax. There's yet another demographic being shamed.
Published June 17, 2015
The breeze cools the tops of my feet and sneaks between my toes as my soles deftly navigate every detail of the varied terrain through the most minimal athletic shoe I have ever invested in - Bedrock Sandals.
Published June 1, 2015
If farming had professional athletes, Dela Ends of Scotch Hill Farm would be an all-star. Her certified organic, family-run farm located in Broadhead, Wis. has provided nourishment through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to Milwaukee and neighboring cities since 1994.
Published May 20, 2015
Penelope Shihab, founder of biotech company MONOJO and CEO of Milwaukee's Columbia Biotech USA has an innovative take on creating and maintaining clear skin.
Published May 6, 2015
Scott Roush is the drummer for Rossonian, a "hot pop, garage soul, electro-sensual rock & roll" band returning to the area to appear at The Jazz Estate on Thursday, May 7.