Friday, November 21, 2014

Memorable Meals {Recipe ReDux}

Food plays an important role in our culture and is part of all kinds of celebrations and gatherings. In Canada we've already celebrated Thanksgiving, a holiday which often involves lots of food and food traditions. With that in mind, this month's Recipe ReDux theme is  A Food Memory For Which You Are Thankful: In the US, November marks the Thanksgiving holiday. But many of us are especially thankful for food memories we have shared with friends or relatives throughout our lives. Was it a special meal you ate as a child? Or, maybe it was a food you grew and harvested with your own children. Please share one of your favorite food memories and the healthier “redo” of the recipe.
Considering that I am awaiting the arrival of my first born (while I write this, she arrived before posting it), this was a very timely theme. It made me think back to my childhood, but also inspired me to think about keeping things simple and convenient in the kitchen - things my clients often mention as important in their busy lives. I had many ideas, but settled on a "redo" of hamburger helper - something that can be done in one pot and uses ingredients many people have around already. It's a convenience item that is still available on grocery shelves, but is also simple to make from scratch and thus avoid the excess sodium and other preservatives.

Just like many meals people currently consume, often our childhood favourites are lacking in vegetables. I added a few for flavour, but also served this with raw veggies and dip (as another childhood throwback!).
Homemade Hamburger Helper
Makes approximately 6 servings (depending on side dishes and size of appetite)
1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used sirloin)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 medium (about 1 cup) white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups whole grain macaroni
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup shredded marble cheese
salt and pepper
1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
1. Heat skillet. Add beef and brown over medium heat.
2. Wash and chop veggies. Drain any residual fat from the beef, then add bell pepper, onion, garlic and tomato paste - cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add water, milk, pasta, and spices. Stir, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes (or until pasta cooked to your liking).
4. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper to taste, garnish with parsley, and serve.
Check out other dietitian's recipes below for more inspiration for your kitchen!

Happy cooking,
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching