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10.26.2012

Make Your Own Hamburger Helper




It's funny the other night my husband was talking about a story he heard on NPR about how the marketing campaign behind Hamburger Helper when it first came out in 50's was... something like... "When you don't have time to make a home cooked meal, use a box of Hamburger Helper."


But today the idea behind it is... "When you want a home cooked meal make a box of Hamburger Helper."


What is wrong with us today? When you want a home cooked meal..... make it yourself. If you do not have the time to make everything from scratch. I understand that! I am a busy mom after all. There are days when I would love to make pasta by hand or a batch of sauce... but we only have so many hours in the day! Choosing a product like Hamburger Helper or any other ready to go meal out of a box is not what a decent meal should be. It is nothing but artificial flavors, colorings and chemicals. If you can not pronounce an ingredient listed on the back of a box.... my advice. DON'T EAT IT!

The idea behind this is absurdly absurd.... when you want a home cooked meal?? I'm going to buy a box of crap and throw it in a pan. Hamburger Helper is 3 basic ingredients... pasta, meat, sauce. Why do we need to simplify that even more?


So to illustrate how stupidly easy it is to make a decent meal that is much like hamburger helper, but a tad less processed.... I made my own version. Sans the burger though.... because we are meatless these days! If you want to add your own. I will add the instructions at the bottom of the recipe.

Make Your Own Hamburger Helper

Ingredients:

1 box of whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (or better yet your own! I used my mothers homemade jarred sauce)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup fresh mozzarella shredded
     
Directions:

Break your lasagna noodles into small pieces boil until cooked according to box directions.

Strain pasta.

Pour sauce over pasta.

Sprinkle with cheese and mix.

***To add hamburger***
Fry 1 pound of burger until browned and cooked. Strain grease. Mix into pasta mixture.


So tell me why again people buy that stuff in a box with the creepy white talking glove?      


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25 comments:

  1. Nicole (MyLoveForCooking)October 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    My hubby loves the lasagna one and once in a very blue moon I relent to buy it *gag* but I will try and sneak this on him next time. Thanks! :)

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    1. My husband has a soft spot for that boxed stuff too. It's what so many of us grew up eating! I just can't stand that it has become some people's standard for what home cooked is.

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  2. Haha! My husband always laughs when we see Hamburger Helper because it is so easy to create your own version at home!!! The homemade versions always taste better than the cardboard tasting ones:-)

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  3. Nice! I have a hard time with people who say they don't know how to cook... or people who say they "don't have time." Seriously, there are some really easy things to throw together that are so much better for you than all of that boxed and prepared stuff! Good job on this post :)

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    Replies
    1. Somethings are just so easy there really is no excuse other than... laziness! People don't want to even try... It bugs me.

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  4. I need this in my life! I loved hamburger helper as a kid, but never have made it as an adult. This version is an 11/10 fo' sure!

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    Replies
    1. I grew up on it! Loved it as a kid too.

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  5. You are so true about the shift of "home cooked" meals. I grew up on this stuff, and I love it, I will not lie, but I don't eat it any more. You should hear the shock when people find out I cook EVERY NIGHT. (I put that in all caps, because that's what it sounds like when they say it.) I think they think I am slaving over a stove for hours on end, but seriously, I am taking min more to do THIS instead of that (boxed stuff).

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    Replies
    1. LOL We all love it! Just one of those thing's I would never consider home cooked. Dinners made at home can be quick and easy... people think I slave every day too... but meals like this make an appearance often. Nothing hard about it!

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  6. I love this post - I agree...it's ALWAYS grossed me out and really - your stuff looks wayyyyyy better. !!! Happy weekend my friend!

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure it doesn't taste the same. But heck it tastes better to me! TGIF Jess!

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  7. I think it's a taste thing. It might not make sense, but I think some people just like how it tastes. And tomato sauce, noodles, and cheese don't taste, ehm, artificial enough. :) I have to admit, my mother never bought this for us and would be terrified if she knew that I bought it once I moved out, but I sometimes make homemade hamburger helper that tastes just as artificial as the original and takes way longer than making homemade sauce and pasta. Isn't that terrible?! Sometimes I have weird cravings. Like artificially flavored pasta dishes, off-brand grape soda and premade chicken nuggets instead of just making them homemade. I don't know.

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    Replies
    1. See I think we are all like that though. There are just some crappy foods we love. And that is ok! As long as you don't live off them. The idea that an item like Hamburger Helper is marketed as "home cooked" grosses me out. It's far from it.... and oh my god. Chicken nuggets... my total weakness.

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  8. Amen sista!! I will be sending this to a select group of people who rely on the waving white glove for dinner. ;-)

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  9. That lookes wonderful!!!

    I'm hosting a COOKIE bloghop and I would love you to join! Please check it out at
    http://meandmysweets.blogspot.se/2012/10/fall-flavoured-cookies-and-bloghop.html

    Cheers!

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  10. I agree with this completely! The only time I use anything frozen or from a box is when I'm feeling incredibly lazy or if I'm in a pinch. It's so easy to just boil some rice, cook some veggies, add some spices and call it a day. And your hamburger helper recipe is SO EASY! I love it!

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  11. I never as a kid ate hamburger helper, we always had home cooked meals ( even though my mom is not a great cook) my grandma made a lot of home cooked meals and I ended up living with her and she taught me how how to cook. By the way I never had store bought jellie until I was married and left home and let me tell you I sure do miss grandma's home made jellie.

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  12. I never as a kid ate hamburger helper, we always had home cooked meals ( even though my mom is not a great cook) my grandma made a lot of home cooked meals and I ended up living with her and she taught me how how to cook. By the way I never had store bought jellie until I was married and left home and let me tell you I sure do miss grandma's home made jellie.

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  13. Great post and lovely photo, I'm having this tonight, with my homemade sauce of course ;)

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  14. I have to call out the irony "1 box" of noodles and "1 jar" of sauce being homemade...

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    Replies
    1. It's a whole lot more home cooked than a box of hamburger helper is it not? Or the alternative.... going out to eat?? Also note, this is supposed to be a quick meal, that is healthier than hamburger helper. The point is you can make better food and there is no excuse for buying the stuff so many American's live off of today.

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    2. And I quote, "What is wrong with us today? When you want a home cooked meal..... make it yourself. A BOX OF ANYTHING IS NOT HOME COOKED!"
      I think some judicious editing is in order, that's all. If you're going to spend the first two paragraphs of your post decrying anything in a box as a horrible mistake only lazy people make, then the first ingredient in your better-than-that recipe should probably not be something out of a box. Your initial post sounded judgmental and I couldn't resist poking fun.

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    3. 1) I see what you are saying. I can agree with you on one thing. That line was poorly worded. I've since fixed it. However I still stand by the point of this post. Meals like Hamburger Helper are crap. There are healthier, easy alternatives that families will enjoy just as much.

      2) I never said "horrible mistake" or "lazy people"

      3) If you want to poke fun, or disagree with something I have written. Have a little more respect for me or other blog authors. Don't hide behind Anonymous. Send an email or private message. "Poking fun" at people or their work is never OK. You look more like an ass then I do.

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