Hamburger Helper is tasty (at times) and often a staple of the College Student, but it is so horribly processed and unhealthy. Enter Eating Well magazine, which re-did Hamburger Helper and made this recipe - Hamburger Buddy. I got the recipe off of Joe's Blog. Obviously we modified it to make it vegetarian (soy crumbles instead of sirloin, veggie stock instead of beef). Somehow we ran out of Worcestershire sauce so we had to omit that, and I don't know how much that affected the taste of the final product. We liked it. It was definitely better than boxed Hamburger Helper. Much healthier, with lots of chopped up veggies mixed in. I don't think we would make it again, but it's an easy and simple meal and I think a lot of my friends who eat meat would really like it. I will post the original (meaty) recipe.
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium carrots, cut into 2" pieces
10 ounces white mushrooms, cut any large pieces in half
1 large onion, cut into 2" pieces
1 pound ground sirloin
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups water
1 3/4 cups beef broth, divided
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
With a food processor running, drop garlic through the feed tube and process until minced. Add carrots and mushrooms - process until finely chopped. Add onion and pulse just until the pieces are roughly chopped.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add ground sirloin and cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper - cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften and the mushrooms release their juices, about 7 minutes.
Stir in water, 1 1/2 cups broth, noodles and Worcestershire sauce. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk flour with the remaining 1/4 cup broth until smooth. When the pasta is just tender, stir into the meat mixture. Stir in the sour cream. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Scatter each portion with a sprinkling of parsley.
Yield: 6 servings