Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cheeseburger Mac (Homemade Hamburger Helper)

I've been making Homemade Hamburger Helper type meals for  five years, since I first saw this post.

I didn't grow up eating Hamburger Helper and have only had the boxed kind a couple of times in my life. I do like easy skillet meals, though, which prompted me to try this in the first place! The homemade kind doesn't have all the chemicals that the boxed kind has so it's much better for us!

Our favorite kind is Cheeseburger Mac which I've adapted from the original post.

I know some of you are thinking, "I didn't think she ate pasta!" Which we really don't very often since eliminating wheat. But after a year of no pasta, I discovered that I could make this with rice pasta instead and it is super good!

The Tinkyada brand of brown rice pasta is very good. I bought a bag at a dent and bent type of store for $1 last year. We liked it. But regular price is around $3-4 a bag. That's high for pasta, especially if you aren't allergic. Since then, we've tried Trader Joe's brown rice pasta for $1.99 a bag(16 oz.). It's just as good! Since this recipe only takes 8 oz. of pasta, I can make two pots of this, each which serves us for two meals. Not bad, frugally speaking!

Cheeseburger Mac 

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup water or broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Ketchup and yellow mustard, a few squirts of each
1 cup diced tomatoes, drained
8 ounces pasta-- rice pasta, regular pasta, whole wheat, gluten free,whatever...
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Brown a half pound of meat and chopped onions in a skillet. Drain grease. I reduced the amount of meat from a whole pound to a half pound; we don't think it's made much of a difference in taste! This is one way I'm able to stretch the more expensive grass-fed beef and afford to eat it.

2. Pour one cup of water or broth in a measuring cup; add a teaspoon of cornstarch and mix well. Pour it into skillet and bring to boil.

3. Add several squirts of ketchup and mustard to pot. We really like the cheeseburger taste this gives but you can skip if  you want!

4. Stir in diced tomatoes.

5. Add noodles and stir them in. If needed, add more water so the noodles can be mixed in without clumping too bad. The water shouldn't cover the noodles! As they cook, keep an eye on the noodles and stire often, adding a bit more water if needed.

6. Cover and simmer, stirring often until noodles are soft, about 10- 15 minutes.

7. When noodles are done, turn heat to low and add a handful of cheese, stirring it in until it melts. Turn stove off, sprinkle more cheese on top and serve to your hungry family!


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