We all know that the cost of meat can really drive up your grocery bill. You can stretch your hamburger and your grocery dollar by mixing your own ground beef "helper" at home. The "helper" has the same nutritional value as the mix on the market, but is higher in flavor and half the price of commercial products.
Store this mix in a tight container for up to three months without flavor loss. Keep the mix on had for a quick, economical, and tasty addition to casseroles.
Ground Beef Helper Seasoning Mix
Mix all ingredients. Makes 2-1/2 cups of mix. Depending on taste, use 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the Seasoning Mix for each pound of hamburger.
Macaroni Casserole (5 servings)
Brown one pound of hamburger in a heavy frying pan with a lid. Drain off the excess fat. To the meat in the frying pan add water, macaroni, and Seasoning Mix. Bring to a boil and stir. Cover and let simmer 15 - 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. If macaroni starts to stick to pan, add more water. Uncover. Simmer until excess water is evaporated.
*Carrots for color*
Follow the Macaroni Casserole recipe and add two carrots that have been peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices. The carrots are added alon with the water, macraroni, and Seasoning Mix.
Rice Casserole (5 Servings)
Brown one pound of hamburger in a heavy frying pan with a lid. Drain off the excess fat. To the meat in the frying pan add water, rice and Seasoning Mix. Bring to a boil and stir. Cover and let simmer 15-20 minutes. Stir occassionally. If the rice sticks to the pan, add more water. Uncover and simmer until ecess water has evaporated.
Hamburger Noodle Skillet (4-6 servings)
After browning and draining hamburger in a heavy frying pan, add tomato sauce, and noodles. Mix thoroughly. Warm through and add mixed vegetables until warm. Sprinkle cheese and parsley over the top. Do not stir. Cover and heat just long enough to melt cheese. Serve from the skillet.
Patti Chadwick has been a stay-at-home mom for 15 years. Over the years she's learned how to save time and money in food preparation by using a variety of Master Mixes. Patti is also a freelance writer and founder of History's Women, www.historyswomen.com, an on-line magazine highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women throughout history.
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