Apparently spring is on it's way in some parts of the country, but it's definitely winter where I live. I'm still making meals that are on the hearty side, which makes sense since there is a ton of snow on the ground. I made a mexican lasagna over the weekend that went over well, using whole wheat tortillas instead of pasta, salsa instead of tomato sauce, and cheddar in place of mozzarella.
I'll admit it, Hamburger Helper has been a part of my culinary life, it's cheap, it's easy, it fills you up. But its sooooo bad for you, with a cringe inducing amount of sodium and fat. I once saw an dish called "cowboy pasta," and since I usually tweak things to my liking, I made it over and now call it Healthy Helper. It's full of protein, due to the beans, and either ground beef or turkey, and the whole wheat pasta gives a dose of healthy carbs. I've thought of adding tofu hamburger crumbles, instead of meat, which might work too if you're a vegetarian.
The recipe makes a huge amount, so use a large skillet. I save some for lunch the next day, and freeze the rest.
one pound ground beef, turkey or tofu crumbles
one large vidalia onion, chopped
three cloves of garlic, chopped
one 30 oz can of low sodium tomato sauce
one 15 oz can of black beans
one 15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
one can of corn
1 1/2 cup of uncooked whole wheat pasta
8 oz of pepper jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
Cook, then drain the meat, and set aside.
In a large skillet, add enough olive oil to cover, and sautee the onions and garlic until soft.
Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans, corn, salt, cayenne, ground pepper, pasta and meat.
Bring to a boil, turn heat down to simmer, and cook until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir occasionally, at the end of cooking, mix in cheese, add more salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
don't forget the Le Creuset giveaway!