In my world of too much and not enough, that is too much to do and not enough time to do it, I need some fast, go to meals that have real ingredients.
I started looking at what the commercials were pushing at us that was unhealthy, but promised fast, easy and inexpensive. My thought is always, I can make that taste better, without chemicals and preservatives and I know it will be gluten and dairy free. I know, I have a lot of moxie.
The first to be conquered was Hamburger Helper. There is a lot of talk of a new gluten free version coming out. Don’t be fooled. Just because it’s gluten free doesn’t mean it has good ingredients. But it gives us that promise of a fast meal for the family, so I took on this “type” of meal.
The results, mine was a hands down winner. (no commercial pun intended) Well, we didn’t actually taste theirs, but mine is a new family favorite. And what happens to those favorites, they get tweaked, modified, and adapted to what is on hand. It’s the process that becomes the important part of these fast meals.
When I first made this dish I thought it would be fun to find out what others put into their homemade version of this fast meal. So, we’re having a contest. I want you to make your own version, take a picture and send it to me over the next two weeks. You can give a list of ingredients and even the recipe if you want. I’ll post them by the end of June for everyone to see and you can vote via a comment for your favorite. The more they vote for you the better your chances are to win! I will set a time limit and after that is up I’ll print out the comments and we’ll draw a winner. I have bought a $25 gift card, that someone who shares their version of Homemade Hamburger Helper, will win to purchase their favorite ingredients. Are you that someone?
So just to recap so we’re clear. You create your own Homemade Hamburger Helper, take a photo and email it to me. I post the photos, people vote, and someone wins a $25 gift card. Why? Well if you have not figured it out after the 30 Days to a Food Revolution event, I want you in the kitchen cooking real food and I’m willing to pay you to do it.
If you have a food blog of your own, please give this a shout out. Maybe one of your lucky readers will win. And, if you have a blog feel free to submit your entry too. Email the photos to diane at glutenfreefoodcoach dot com. If you forget it’s listed on the right side of this blog.
1 pound grass fed organic ground beef
1 1/2 cup quinoa pasta shells or elbows-gluten free
2 cups hot beef stock- homemade is the best
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes or 1-2 dozen fresh chopped roma tomatoes (food processor)
1 TB tomato paste
2 tsp minced toasted onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 TBS fresh chopped oregano
1 tsp dried basil or 4-5 fresh leaves chopped
1 tsp dried parsley or handful of fresh chopped
Brown the beef and drain the fat. Add in the tomato paste and combine.
Add in everything else except the parsley. Combine and bring to a boil. Cover and turn down to simmer for 14 minutes. When the time is up mix in the parsley and serve.
Fresh chopped onion and garlic work great. Cook them with the ground beef.
A package of mushrooms is wonderful. I like cremini and sliced cost the same as whole.
If you don’t have broth, water will work.
You can substitute ground chicken or turkey for the beef but still use the beef stock.
To make it vegetarian you can use the soy crumbles or 4 large portobello mushrooms diced works great with vegetarian or mushroom stock.
Toss in whatever vegetables you grab from the garden or farmer’s market.
To see more gluten free meals, check out Gluten-Free Wednesdays.
Kudos to you for making your own Hamburger Helper. My mom used to make various versions of this for us when I was growing up (it was cheaper than buying the boxed stuff). And when I grew up and was on my own, I bought a few Hamburger Helpers to try. They all taste the same to me! I much prefer making my own. I actually already have a version on my blog – rice instead of pasta, but it was one of my Dad's creations when I was a kid – we called it Surprise #7. (It was the 7th version of "Dad" creations in the kitchen, and the first one we actually liked!) Great incentives – I'll spread the word!
Alta- You're always one step ahead. Send me the photo and I'll add it to the contest. Thanks for the word spreading.
I love it when you show some moxie! 😉 I'm going to dig out my own homemade version of Hamburger Helper (kind of a Hamburger Helper/Rice-a-Roni type dish), but not until I get back from vacation. Is the deadline shown somewhere? I'll share it on my blog. 🙂 Oh, and your version looks delicious, of course! Still haven't seen the Daiya cheese in my travels, but will try it eventually. I love that it's soy free, too. 🙂
Shirley- Don't worry you'll have time to work on your dish when you get back from vacation. I'm collecting photos for the next two weeks and then I'll share them for the voting.
Hi Diane – this looks really yummy – and I cant believe I actually said that about "Hamburger Helper"! The cheese makes a nice topping too. Thanks for posting.
Mary- Thank you. I hope you will join in and share your master piece. Who knows, you just might win!
I love this idea! I like your recipe for your hamburger helper also. I saw a picture of the ingredients in the store bought hamburger helper online recently and found it very disturbing. The ingredients are not good at all!! Can't wait to experiment 🙂
Jessica- I totally agree, their ingredients are very disturbing. I'm sure your creation will taste better and cost less. I hope you will take a photo and submit it for the contest.
I'm always looking for fast, easy gluten-free meals! I'll have to look for that Daiya cheese in my local grocery store – I still haven't tried it. It looks good!
Gina- If you can't find the Daiya cheese locally I believe I have found it online and it can be delivered right to your door. Made Au gratin Potatoes last night. I can't remember the last time I had something like that. Fast and easy is all I can do right now. I hope you will take the challenge and send me your photos!
My version of a gluten-free Hamburger Helper type dish comes from my childhood. "American Chop-Suey" was a dish I grew up eating.
1 C gluten free elbow macaroni
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 T canola or olive oil
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I use Ragu Light Tomato & Basil).
Cook elbow macaroni until "al dente'. You want it to still have a bit of 'bite' to it. Drain.
Heat a fry pan, pour in the oil, and add the onion and hamburg meat. Cook until the onion has softened, and the mean is no longer pink. Drain.
Mix the elbow macaroni and ground beef mixture in a 9×13 pan. Pour spaghetti sauce on top, and mix.
Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes.
(I always liked a bit of grated parmigiana cheese on top.)
Sue- quick and easy. Love it! Can you send me a photo of this so people can vote on it for the contest.
I love a good challenge!
Ellen- I can't wait to see yours. I bet it will taste great and be really healthy!
Great idea! I'll get to work on my version. My family loves this kind of meal.
I just made my "Hamburger Helper" and will be emailing you as soon as I upload the pics 🙂
I would have NEVER done this with out you! Thank you.
Sarah- How Cool!!! I can't wait. Thank you for joining in.
Diane, did you get my submission? I sent the recipe and photos.