1 pound of whole-wheat elbow macaroni
6 strips of chopped bacon
1 small diced yellow onion
1 pound of very lean ground beef
28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes in juice
3 tablespoons of chili powder
1 can (6-oz) of tomato paste
2 cups of shredded low-fat Mexican blend cheese
½ cup of sliced green onions
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
PREHEAT the oven to 350°
Lightly grease a 9 X 13-inch casserole dish with olive or coconut oil; set aside.
COOK the chopped bacon in a large pot on medium-high heat until crispy.
While bacon cooks, cook the macaroni according to the package instructions; drain well.
REMOVE the bacon and add in the onions and cook until brown. Once they are browned add in the ground meat and cook until there is no more pink left; drain in a colander and return to pan. Add in the crushed tomatoes and chili powder and simmer on low heat. Whisk in the tomato paste to thicken the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Combine the macaroni and sauce; pour into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese overall and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.
Garnish with the green onions.
Yield: 9 servings