In the interests of full disclosure, let me say this: I have no idea what Hamburger Helper tastes like. But I’ve seen it, and I’ve seen the ingredient list, and this is my best kick at a healthy, tasty homemade version. My son loves this so much he has learned to make it from start to finish himself, so now we jokingly refer to him as “Mama’s Little Helper”.
This is an easy crockpot recipe you can also make on the stove.
1 lb lean ground beef, preferably grass-fed and naturally-raised
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 c. finely chopped kale (fresh or frozen)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1-796 ml (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 c. unsweetened almond or cow’s milk
2 c. water
1/3 c. nutritional yeast
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp smoked or regular paprika
1.5 c. dry 100% whole grain macaroni
1/2 c. plain, nonfat greek yoghurt
1/3 c. grated white cheddar
In a pan on the stovetop, brown the beef and drain off any extra fat. In a crockpot, combine browned beef, onion, garlic, kale, carrot, tomatoes, almond milk, water, nutritional yeast, chili powder, salt, and paprika. Stir to combine and cook on high setting for about 3 hours. Add dry macaroni and let mixture cook another half hour or until noodles tender. Stir in yoghurt and cheddar until well-blended, then turn off crockpot and serve.
Makes about 11 cups, serves 8 (about 1&1/3 c. servings).