I grew up in Kansas where the ultimate treat was picking out a new flavor of Hamburger Helper for dinner. I was always overcome with excitement at the prospect of a new, fancy box wielding a new promising delicious flavor. Of course, fast forward to being a health-conscious cook, a box filled with artificial ingredients isn’t exactly my cup of tea. I always like to see every ingredient that goes into my food, and prefer a life filled with non-processed food. That being said, I often miss the comfort food of my childhood (as does my husband), so I created this dish as an ode to my favorite boxed meal:) This is a gluten-free, farmer’s market take on my beloved Hamburger Helper—chocked full of veggies, protein, and a gluten-free grain instead of the traditional pasta. It’s a huge hit in my household and hope it becomes a staple in yours!
Farmer’s Market Helper
1 lb organic, free-range grass fed ground beef or bison
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1.5 cups quinoa
3 cups veggie broth
7 artichoke hearts (from a jar), quartered
1 cup frozen sweet peas, defrosted
4 cups raw kale, de-ribbed and torn into small pieces
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ears of corn, kernels shaved off
1 head asparagus, sliced thinly
1/2 cup raw manchego or pecorino cheese
sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon
2 large shallots, diced
2 teaspoons hot sauce
sea salt to taste
Place your kale into a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Massage well so that each leaf has a good coating. Set aside as you prepare the rest of the meal.
Rinse your quinoa (or let soak for 10 minutes and drain). Combine with broth, a pinch of salt, and tablespoon of olive oil. Bring pot to a boil, stir well, reduce the heat and cover for roughly 15 minutes or until the quinoa is fluffy.
Warm a large frying pan over high heat and brown your beef/bison. Sprinkle with seasoned salt. Once meat is cooked through, remove leaving the leftover fat. Char the corn in the beef fat for 5 minutes, adding your tomatoes after 3 minutes. If needed, add a quick splash of additional olive oil.
Whisk together all dressing ingredients and shake well.
Combine quinoa, meat, corn, tomatoes, sweet peas, kale, asparagus, and cheese. Add dressing and mix evenly. Dig in!
photos and styling: Cynthia Groseclose
Enjoy my recipes? Look for way more like this in my new book Aim True (March 2016)available for pre-order HERE.