I finally got some time to start cooking using Hamburger Helper. This is for my kids’ dinner and my lunch. I chose the Cheeseburger Macaroni, yumm~. Instead of using only the ground beef on the back of the box, I decided to put a twist on the age-old recipe. All you need are few vegetables to transform your meal into a healthier alternative.
- 2 boxes of hamburger helper (cheeseburger macaroni)
- 1 lb of ground beef (85% lean/ 15% fat)
- 0.5 lb of carrots (diced)
- 1 medium size onion (diced)
- 1 can (8 oz) of diced tomato
- 1 tablespoon Fennel seed
- 2 cups of water
- 4 cups of 2% milk
- vegetable oil
1. Place a 4.5QT saucepan (or larger) on the stove and turn the heat to High.
2. Film the pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to prevent the ground beef from sticking.
3. Add the fennel seed to the pan and saute for 10-20 seconds. (Be sure not to overcook the seeds).
4. Add the ground beef and saute until cooked and remove from the pan (the ground beef can be removed from the pan even if there are few patches of pink). Cook the meat first and then vegetables next so that the vegetables will soak up the fat from the beef for extra flavor. Feel free to remove some fat if there is too much.
5. Add the onions and cook over high heat until the onions are soft.
6. Add the carrots and cook until they are just tender, not soft. (I usually prep the carrots first by putting them in a salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, and strain the hot water. This process usually speeds up the cooking process).
7. Add the cooked ground beef that was set aside at step 4.
8. Add the diced tomato and stir until the ingredients are fully mixed.
9. Add 2 cups of water. The package on the hamburger helper will indicate 1.5 cups for each box, with a total of 3 cups when using 2 boxes. But just add 2 cups of water. The juice from the diced tomatoes will subsidize for the extra cup of water.
10. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and add in the sauce mix and stir until fully dissolved. Make sure the sauce mix is fully dissolved. The last thing you want is a mouth full of cheeseburger flavored sauce mix.
11. Add 4 cups of water, and the pasta Bring the mixture to boil.
12. Reduce heat and cover; simmer for 12 minutes. Stir occasionally because the macaroni will stick to the pan. Trust me, that happened to me. Make sure to stir occasionally until pasta is tender, NOT SOFT.
13. Remove from heat and serve.
14. Bon appetite
15. Happy Box Tops Clipping.