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Boxed burger “helper” made healthy

By Carolyn Malcoun, September 29, 2009 - 10:38am

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Whenever I see ground beef on sale, I stock up. Knowing I have a few packages stashed away in my freezer helps solve the nightly question of “What’s for dinner?” I just pull out some ground beef the night before I plan to use it and let it defrost in my refrigerator. When I get home from work the next day I can cook up any of these delicious recipes using ground beef in 45 minutes or less. Bonus: they’re all $3 or less per serving.

Hamburger Buddy: The simple one-skillet spin on boxed burger “helper” was developed with picky eaters in mind. To make this healthier version, we use 90%-lean ground beef and replace regular noodles with whole-wheat noodles to increase the fiber. The secret to boosting the nutrients in this dish is adding finely chopped carrots, plenty of onion and mushroom.

Beef & Bean Chile Verde: Chili in 30 minutes? Yes you can! A jar of salsa and choice seasonings give it oodles of slow-cooked flavor in very little time. Serve with fresh cilantro, red onion and Monterey Jack. Add cornbread on the side and your favorite hot sauce.

Portobello & Beef Patty Melt: This diner classic gets a makeover by replacing some of the ground beef with finely chopped portobello mushrooms, which add moisture and flavor. We like a smear of pickle relish on top, but you could try chutney, mustard or hot pepper relish in its place.

Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes: Potatoes are one of the great comfort foods, especially when stuffed with a satisfying mixture of lean ground beef and broccoli florets plus reduced-fat sour cream and Cheddar cheese. Serve with a tossed salad.

EatingWell Sloppy Joes: Our updated Sloppy Joe takes lean ground beef and adds chopped cremini mushrooms and diced fresh plum tomatoes, all in a zesty sauce. Served on a whole-wheat bun, it’s a hearty dinner sandwich that will please adults and kids alike.

What's your favorite ground beef recipe? OR What do you stock-up on when it's on sale? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Food Blog, Dinner, Family meals, Healthy kids, Quick meals, Recipe Makeover

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.

Carolyn asks: What's your favorite ground beef recipe? OR What do you stock-up on when it's on sale?

Tell us what you think:

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