Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone. This recipe might be good for you my friend. Traditional chili mac takes a twist with a few healthy swaps I never would have guessed would turn out this good. A medium sized sweet potato baked until tender, then mashed and added to the mac not only adds healthy fiber and starches, but also a creamy allotment of vitamins that never would be present in a regular mac 'n' cheese recipe. The added fat from regular ground meat or chorizo has also been slashed through the use of spicy sorizo. If this is all sounding too healthy for you, hang on. Your tastebuds are going to be on a roller coaster of flavor. Healthy, gluten-free, and vegetarian never tasted so good!
Soyrizo Chili Mac
1 medium to large sweet potato
1 tablespoon butter
1 chopped yellow onion
1 14.5 oz. can diced chili ready tomatoes
1/2 link soyrizo (I used Melissa's brand)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup skim milk
1 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed 2% Velveeta cheese
2 1/2 cups dried brown rice elbow noodles
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pierce the sweet potato with a fork several times. Place in a microwave save dish and cook in the microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes or until soft. Remove from the microwave and set aside to cool.
Heat a large stockpot over medium heat and begin to melt the butter. Add the onion. Stirring occasionally, cook the onion until it is soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, juice and all. Stir and add the soyrizo, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Lower the heat to low. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes.
While the chili is simmering, cook the pasta noodles for 1/2 the suggested time. I cooked mine about 8 minutes. You do not want to cook the noodles all the way through because they will finish cooking in the chili an cheese sauce in the oven. Drain the noodles and set aside.
When the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Add the mashed sweet potatoes to the chili and stir. Add the milk, cheddar cheese, and Velveeta cheese to the chili and sweet potato mixture stirring constantly until the cheese is melted. Add the pasta noodles and stir until combined.
Pour the chili mac into the baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Cool slightly before serving. You can garnish with additional cheddar and green onions if you choose.