Friday, October 2, 2009

Another Homemade Hamburger Helper

Hamburger Helper is probably a copyrighted term, but I don't know how else to describe ground beef/gravy dishes. They are so simple to make from scratch and making it homemade there is no preservatives. I would never consider this a company dish, but for a family dish it is filling and cheap. This version is extremely weight watchers friendly because it only has 1/2 lb of beef for four servings (you can add more beef if you aren't on a diet.) It's also very healthy with the vegetables, and fiber that it has in it! Oh, and for those that are curious, I'm still in denial that I'm doing weight watchers and I still don't want to talk about it. By the way, this is a huge portion for 4pts, you are filling up on fiber and vegetables but it feels like you are eating a big beefy dish. Substituting rice will increase points.

Beef & Barley

1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 large zucchini
Lots of button mushrooms. I used the big container, I don't know what size that is, forgot to look at the package! (If someone knows, let me know and I'll update the recipe)
1/2 onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 cups of beef broth/stock
1 cup pearl barley

In a small pot put the 1 cup of barley with one cup of water and one cup of beef broth. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes.

In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic. Add ground beef. Break up into small pieces. Since there isn't much meat in the dish, having it in small bits ensures you get a little bit of meat in each bite. Add rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper. Add diced mushrooms and cubed zucchini. Continue cooking on med-hi to hi until mushrooms start to brown. Add Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the meat and mushroom mixture. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves into the dish. Add about 2 cups of beef broth and bring to a boil. If it thickens too much, add more water (or broth) if it is too loose, keep boiling until it reduces and thickens a bit. Add barley when it is finished. Serves 4.

Weight Watchers: 4 pts per serving
Wheat roll on the side was an additional 1 point.


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