Hamburger Helper reminds me of my dad. When I was a kid and Dad was cooking you almost always knew it would contain ground beef. His specialty was a concoction of ground beef and cream of mushroom soup served over rice. I always looked forward to it whenever he made it and it tasted very similar to the hamburger helper that we also had occasionally. That’s what I was thinking of when I created this recipe.
It’s just as easy to throw together as the boxed stuff and the taste is very similar, but just so much better. And, just like the boxed kind this recipe receives zero points for attractiveness. But taste trumps looks right? I think it tastes just as good heated up throughout the week, as leftovers, as it does the day it’s made.
If you have someone that loves Hamburger Helper but you’d like to get them to try a healthier version, give this recipe a go. It’s a quick and hearty weeknight meal that’s sure to please the beef lovers in your family.
One-Pot Beef Stroganoff
Whole grain pasta may take longer to cook and may need slightly more water than indicated below.
- 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 beef bouillon cubes (organic if possible)
- 4 cups macaroni (or other spiral pasta)
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a bit of oil, brown beef and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink.
Add remaining ingredients except sour cream. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is just cooked and water is absorbed (add additional water if necessary).
Stir in sour cream. Heat through.
Makes: 6 servings
When we had this for dinner the first time we couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards. Every half an hour or so one us would say “mmm.. supper was good.” Even Max would not stop eating it until every last bit was gone. I was a little disappointed that there were no leftovers because I was craving it again the next day (we halved the recipe). It’s a super quick meal to throw together on a weeknight and the flavours are outstanding.
Couscous has been a fairly new addition to our family’s table. We’ve only started eating it in the last year or so and I have no idea why. It’s so quick to prepare for a side or main and the pasta soaks up all the delicious flavours of whatever you cook it in. Traditional Paella (pronounced pah-e-yah) is made with rice but making it with couscous instead speeds up the cooking time considerably and is just a fun change from the norm.
This meal has a lot going for it. Not only does it take less than thirty minutes to throw together but it’s also a one pot dinner and fairly healthy too. Plus, I love anything that gives me the excuse to eat shrimp!
Do you eat couscous? What are your favorite ways to enjoy it?
Shrimp and Couscous Paella
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth (2-14.5 oz cans)
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound large shrimp, uncooked
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- sliced almonds, to garnish
- fresh parsley, to garnish (optional)
- In a large nonstick skillet saute red pepper in a small amount of oil until softened. Add onions and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until shrimp turn pink.
- Making sure broth is at a simmer, stir in couscous, peas and butter. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with almonds and parsley to serve.
*If using cooked shrimp: add to broth and bring to a boil, just to heat through, before adding couscous. And, if you’re like me and forget to thaw the peas you can add them along with the shrimp. :)
Adapted from Light & Tasty.