Monday, March 12, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Helper

I recently posted on Facebook ( about the idea for coming up with a homemade hamburger helper-type dish. I've never actually had the store-bought 'helper' and, to be honest, they really don't look that great. The thought of all those nasty preservatives and fillers just don't do it for me. Plus, it seems that any vegetables are pretty much non-existent in those boxes. Well, I decided to make my own version of the popular meal the other day just to see if the tomato/meat/pasta (that isn't an Italian dish) really was a good combination.

After playing with a few ideas and throwing in some 'different' ingredients, I had a plateful of a pretty tasty meal. I made a simple cheese sauce to add to the ground meat/vegetable mixture then added a package of frozen broccoli with cheese sauce. I know that probably sounds weird, but broccoli seemed like a good fit and that was the only kind I had. It worked well because the particular brand I had is pretty low on calories so it added more cheese with less worry. Plus, the broccoli addition tasted really good with everything else. And if it's a way to get my kid to eat some of the 'little green trees' then I'm goin' for it!

Homemade Hamburger Helper

1/2 lb macaroni, cooked
1 lb ground chuck or round
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
3 TB flour
1 1/2 c milk
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c + 2 TB tomato sauce
1 package Green Giant broccoli with cheese sauce
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook meat, onion and pepper in large skillet until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are soft.
2. Drain grease from the pan.
3. Mix flour into the meat mixture and cook for a minute over medium heat. (This will cook the flour slightly to get rid of the starchy taste.)
4. Add the milk and shredded cheese. Stir frequently until cheese is melted.
5. Mix in the macaroni and tomato sauce.
6. Cook the broccoli package according to the directions and then add to the skillet.
7. Mix well and cook for a few minutes to be sure everything is heated through.
8. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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