October 29, 2012

Vegetarian Hamburger Helper

Say whaaaat?

If that's not an oxymoron, I don't know what is.


But wait!  Don't run away yet.  First, let's have a chat.

Once upon a time, I was a vegetarian.  It was glorious.

Glorious?  YES.  I love veggies and fruit and hummus and pasta and dessert and cereal and cheese.  Lots of meatless shtuff.

To be honest, I only have about 5 meat-centric (?) meals that I like.  The number one being Thanksgiving.  Ooooooh Thanksgiving.  Even when I was a full blown veg, I had (free range organic!) turkey on the big day.

Lots of people would probably say "well then you're not a vegetarian."  To those people, I say, pffffffft, whatever (said in a Clueless-esque tone).  I don't really care what you call me.

I don't care if you want to call me a "vegetarian" or not.  In fact, at this very second, I'm most definitely not.  Being pregnant/nursing E had my body craving meat, and so that's what I gave it.  I'm now starting to get back into the "veggie" groove, if you will.  I'm excited.

I love being a vegetarian.  Fact.  I don't do it for the title, for the recognition, I do it because it makes me feel great.  I like making the teensiest, tiniest effort to better our planet.  I like saving a poor tortured animal.

Ok, sorry to get a little preachy.

How about a recipe?!

This week I'm joining in on the fantastic Meatless Mondays A-Z with the freaking awesome Heather from Better with Veggies.

MMAZ Better With Veggies

Girlfriend has done an IRONMAN.  She ran a marathon yesterday!  To say she's inspirational is an understatement.  AND she's a vegan!  Pretty much, she rocks.

This recipe.  It's certainly not gourmet, but in my defense, Hamburger Helper is not really a 5 star food.

I used my favorite box of mac and cheese, but you could certainly make homemade.  I like that this is a super quick and MUCH healthier version of the household staple in my house growing up.

I'd also like to apologize.  For some reason my camera didn't save the pictures I took of my little creation :(  All I have is a not tempting picture of the lentil mixture.  It was so good, I didn't have any leftovers to photograph!  I'll have to make it again soon and add in a few to this post.

Aaaanyway, enjoy!

Vegetarian Hamburger Helper
aka Lentil Mac and Cheese
Serves 2 hungry hippos, or 4 normal people

1 c lentils
1/2 c black beans
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 to 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, depending on likeness
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 box macaroni and cheese, prepared as directed (or approx. 2 1/2 c homemade macaroni and cheese)
2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

In a separate pan, combine all remaining ingredients, allowing to simmer for about 10 minutes to allow the spices to get cozy with the lentils and beans.

Prepare macaroni and cheese according to the directions on the box.  I take Annie's suggestion and make mine with 1/2 c plain, 0% greek yogurt. Yummm.

Mix the lentil mixture, prepared macaroni and cheese, and shredded cheese until cheese is melted and everything is well incorporated.

Dig in and enjoy!!

What was a staple in your house for dinner growing up??

Ehem, I feel like I have to state that I am in no way affiliated with Annie's Homegrown.  I just love them to bits.

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