Recipe Rehab: Homemade Hamburger HelperPosted on Jun 24th 2010 1:00PM by Tanya Zuckerbrot
Jennifer Levy, Getty Images
Hamburger Helper became popular in the 1970s and has been a staple in many busy households ever since. It creates a dish similar to spaghetti bolognese, but omits the necessity of preparing the pasta sauce by using a convenient flavoring pouch. Industry-created flavoring pouches are notorious for high levels of sodium, and hamburger is not the leanest meat choice when you are watching your calorie intake. Plus, the dish is low in fiber and contains a large amount of carbohydrates. One of our readers, Sheila, is looking for a healthy version of this classic hamburger and macaroni dish.
I'm going to lighten up the recipe by using ground turkey breast instead of hamburger. In a mixed dish like this, the flavor and moisture difference is hardly noticeable. Swapping the noodles for whole wheat macaroni and using fresh tomatoes (including their skins) for the sauce will add fiber. Simple Italian spices will add the flavor that you are looking for to complete the dish. Since the sauce is not meant to simmer for hours, you will find that this simple preparation is just as fast as the boxed preparation and tastes better, too!
8 ounces whole wheat macaroni
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 pound ground turkey breast
2-3 large tomatoes (about one pound)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Prepare the macaroni according to package directions.
2. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions. Add the green pepper, garlic and ground turkey and cook until the turkey is browned.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are soft. Season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and mix in the cooked macaroni.
Nutrition Content (per serving): 265 calories, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 19 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 23 g protein, 409 mg sodium
Readers, I would love to hear from you! Please send me your most favorite fattening recipes that need a RECIPE REHAB! Everything from your mom's meatloaf to your kid's favorite dessert -- let me lighten it up.
Celebrity dietitian and motivational life coach Tanya Zuckerbrot, author of www.ffactordiet.com and founder of www.skinnyandthecity.com and www.theskinnyondietitians.com, has helped thousands of people lose weight and keep it off with her program. Her philosophy? Tanya believes you should never sacrifice taste, even when you're eating healthy foods. Have a recipe in need of rehab? Send us your recipe!