You know that feeling you get when you have NOTHING planned for dinner, you open your freezer in a panic and there's a frozen lump of hamburger staring at you so you grab it and shuffle to the pantry for inspiration, but all that you find is an empty box of Apple Jacks, 28 cupcake liners scattered about, and a box of Hamburger Helper Mix with an ungodly expiration date sometime in the next century (that can't be healthy...)? And then do you know the feeling when you make up that Hamburger Helper, and as it's nearing completion your husband shouts from the other room, "Wow, dinner smells amazing I can't wait!" and as you dish it out the kids are tripping over nothing (you keep your floors clean right?) to get to the table fast enough because it's their favorite meal of all time??? No??? Me neither.... That's why I've slowly been shying away from boxed/processed foods, and making things from real (mostly.....) wholesome ingredients.
Now, I'm not knocking Hamburger Helper or anyone who eats it, and I won't lie I occasionally jump on the high-sodium train myself and rock this out for a last minute meal idea. But. . . like I said, baby steps! I'm doing so much better lately! Like I said in my previous post, I've been experimenting with creating my own recipes lately, because sometimes I like to clear out my pantry without the use of C4! This leads to some interesting and fun concoctions, of which I'm about to share another with you!
What would a new recipe be without a name? A name can make or break something. Imagine if Leonardo DiCaprio's mom had decided to name him Herbert. Or what if Taco Bell was named Wanna-be-mexican-food-that'll-have-you-farting-flames? Ok that's a bit extreme, but my point is, people pay millions of dollars for OTHER people to name things for them, so it must be pretty important, yes?
Anyhow... I wanted to stick with the 'Hamburger Helper' sounding theme for this one, since it's basically a homemade version of just that. So I'm going to call it.... SwissBurger Helper! That one took me awhile... Ok on to the recipe!
- 1lb ground turkey, chicken, or beef
- 6oz penne, elbow macaroni, or pretty much any small cute noodle is fine!
- 8oz Swiss Cheese (you can buy a block or pre-shredded) shredded
- 2 c. Milk
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1/4 c. flour
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 sm. onion, chopped
- Cook pasta according to package directions, but 2-3minutes less, you want it a bit chewy because it will also cook in the oven. Drain. Set aside.
- Brown your ground meat and drain grease very well.
- Sautee' your onion in 1 tbsp. of butter until carmelized
- In a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. of butter, mix in flour, add milk and swiss cheese, stirring constantly until a thick and smooth sauce is created. Add salt & pepper as desired to taste.
- Mix sauce in with the noodles, then add your onion and browned meat aswell.
- Put everything into a casserole dish, and bake on 350 for 25-30minutes until hot and bubbly.
- You can add a topping if you like. Some ideas are:
- Crushed French's Fried Onions
- Crushed Ritz Crackers
- Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs
- anything else crispy would be good too =)
Let me know if you enjoy this recipe! Again, it's a homemade version of Hamburger Helper, so it's not a gourmet meal or anything! Probably don't want to serve this one for Christmas Dinner!