I remember loving Hamburger Helper meals as a kid, the way a simple box of pasta and a sauce packet mixed with ground beef could come out so tasty. Today, we know that (although delicious) there isn't much that's heathy about the processed boxed dinners that serve as a quick and easy option for busy families. I've got some great news...tonight in the kitchen I concocted a beefy, creamy, pasta-y version that's even better, and almost as easy to prepare as the packaged variety.
Heres what you'll need:
1 lb 93/7 Organic Grass-fed beef
2/3 box of Organic penne (I used the "Simple Truth Organics" gluten free kind)
1 28 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic)
1/4 cup organic low-fat sour cream (Horizon)
6 Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
2 cups organic baby spinach
2 tbsp minced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1/2-1 tsp salt (per preference)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Putting it all together:
First, get a large pot with water going to boil your pasta. Next, place olive oil, onion, garlic, mushrooms and ground beef in a large skillet. Season the meat with all herbs and seasonings, then brown in the pan until all meat is cooked. (This Grassfed beef is very lean and did not put off any fat, so I did not drain it...do so if you have any liquid fat in your skillet).
Next, add the diced fire roasted tomatoes, sour cream and allow to simmer for a few minutes while the penne cooks. Prepare the penne per the box instructions to al dente, taking care not to over cook it. Just before your pasta is done, mix in the baby spinach into the meat sauce mixture so it will just begin to wilt. Add your drained cooked pasta, stirring well to combine, then spoon each serving (about a 1 and 1/4 cup) into a bowl. Allow to cool (it was piping hot and I nearly burned my tongue in my eagerness to try it) a little before enjoying!
I hope you will love this easy to prepare, healthier alternative to "easy" box dinners. Please let me know what you think!
See the nutritional info below (makes about 6 servings)
*sodium content reflects 1 tsp salt, can be adjusted to suit your needs.
Kelly is a loving wife, mother, veteran, life-long athlete, personal trainer, and self taught cook with a passion for helping others. She hopes you will be inspired to live a healthier lifestyle while enjoying delicious meals cultivated in her home, and shared at your own tables.