Being a nutritionist and a chef I try to cook the best food possible for my family all the time. It isn’t always easy. When I first took an interest in nutrition and started cooking healthier meals I was met with resistance by other family members who didn’t have the same interest in nutrition as I did.
I’m sure this is the case with many of you out there. There were many times, and there are still those times, when I feel like I am climbing "Health Mountain" all by myself. Or when I feel like I am dragging everyone else kicking and screaming, up Health Mountain with me.
Ideally to function as a happy, cohesive family it is best if we are all on the same page eating the same meals together.
Reality is that not all of my family members got on the same page as me at the same speed as I did. This is likely the case in most households. We have to be patient with others and help them transition into eating better. That was my inspiration for this recipe. A recipe that tastes just like the out-of-the-box Hamburger Helper that everyone loved before making an effort to eat a healthier diet. This is a recipe to help you win over any skeptical family members and show them that eating gluten free, dairy-free, processed food free can still taste pretty awesome! Or maybe you’ve just had a really long day, it’s freezing cold outside, (maybe you’re a little moody and hormonal – hey it happens!) and you just want a nice big bowl of comfort food but don’t want to blow your diet.
INGREDIENTS (Spice Blend)
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 tsp tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 and 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 Tbsp paprika
Combine spices and store in a jar. Double or triple them to make a large batch to save time the next time you want to make this recipe.
3 Tbsp spice blend
1 lb grass fed organic ground beef or bison
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cups of beef bone broth (or use a prepared organic broth cube)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups unsweetened cashew milk (or whiz up a 1/2 cup cashews and 2 cups water in a high powered blender)
1 bag (454g) gluten free brown rice macaroni, spirals or rotini
Optional (but nutritionally recommended) peas, grated carrot, grated zucchini, diced bell pepper. About 1.5 cups of each if using.
Note: Gluten free brown rice pasta is inexpensive and can be found in the natural value section of many grocers. Bulk Barn also carries a variety of gluten free pasta options including pasta made from quinoa, lentils, or black beans. These options may cost you a little more however, but will really increase the nutritional value by skyrocketing the fibre, iron, and protein content of your meal.
Brown meat in a large stock pot or sauce pan over medium heat until almost done.
Add in onions and cook until almost translucent.
Add spice blend, broth, tomatoes, and cashew milk, and pasta. Turn heat to high. Cover and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering, reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes until pasta is cooked. Watch carefully to ensure that it doesn’t boil over and that the pasta doesn’t get overcooked.
Remove from heat and stir in grated carrots, zucchini, peas if using. Place the lid back on and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!