As anyone reading this blog can tell, the last couple weeks have been busy ones outside of the kitchen. In fact, I didn't do a lot of cooking, and when I did, it was mostly what I call "short-cut cooking" ... using ingredients or whole entire meals right from a box, can or jar. Or between two slices of bread.
I did, however, come across two really great classics with a healthier twist than something from a box. I know Hamburger Helper is easy, but these were also easy, easy to manipulate, and taster ... in my opinion. First, my husband requested sloppy joes--which I have to admit I've never made. Not once. Not ever. Not even from a can. The second was a beef stroganoff. I love the idea of beef stroganoff, however, every recipe I've tried (including the boxed kind) I've always found to be too heavy, too rich or too salty. This one I though to be the best of all the ones I've tried.
I found both recipes using the Whole Foods Market recipe app on my iPhone. It has a lot of really cool features and good recipe choices, so if you have a smart phone and like food, I recommend it.
All Natural Better-Than-Boxed Beef Stroganoff
I made a couple of minor adjustments in both recipes. In this one I substituted real garlic for dried and skipped the onion; for the noodles I used traditional egg noodles. And while the cheese on top was super good, I didn't use quite as much. If you make this, keep in mind that the serving sizes are SMALL. The recipe tells me this serves six, but my husband and I ate the whole pot between the two of us. For a family, I'd recommend doubling the recipe and maybe a side salad if you're super hungry or have teenagers.
Old-Fashioned Sloppy Joes
I personally loved this recipe. It is quite the comfort food! I used a white onion instead of a yellow one (just personal preference), but basically followed the recipe exactly and they turned out fantastic. I really do hate when you try a recipe and it doesn't at all turn out as described, or it is just plain old bad! The beauty of this recipe, though, is that I keep ALL of those things on hand, and only needed to run by the store for some meat and buns. I used only one pot and the work required was so minimal--I'm likely to make this again sometime soon just because it requires so little thought! Unlike the stroganoff, we had some leftovers and they kept well and were still great two days later.
Overall, I was impressed with both recipes and have already recommended them to several people.