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Meal Solution #1: Homemade Hamburger Helper & Molten Chocolate Cakes

Image Credit: Hoosier Homemade

So Walmart is trying this new thing where they are offering moms (and dads) meal solutions.  You know, for those of us who are busy and forgot to write a meal plan!  Or, those of us who are pooped and don’t want to make what we planned!  So, this week here’s what Walmart is offering moms (and dads, of course!)…

  • Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Mac ($2.73) OR Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff ($2.73)
  • Del Monte Green Beans ($0.82)
  • Del Monte Lite Sliced Peaches ($1.36)
  • Betty Crocker Warm Delights Molten Chocolate Cake ($1.64)
*Prices may vary by region

There was a time, not so long ago, that this would have been a regular meal in my home.  But, now I have a few more tricks up my sleeve and a different take on additives in food.  So, while Hamburger Helper is okay in a pinch with a pound of grass fed beef of course, I have a great recipe for you that uses only three ingredients you’d have in your pantry (or you could pick up for pennies at at your local Walmart or other grocer).

Homemade Hamburger Helper

1 box of Organic Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (Annie’s mac and cheese, or other brand will work too!)
1 lb. of grass fed ground beef
1 dollop of organic and low sodium Better Than Bouillon Beef Base (or 1 beef bouillon cube)

Boil water and cook macaroni noodles as directed on the box.  Cook and drain ground beef.  Combine macaroni, ground beef, ingredients as indicated on mac and cheese box (likely milk, butter, and cheese packet), and Better than Bouillon Beef Base in the pan and heat until combined.

This is so simple!  It is a crowd pleaser and is easy to double or triple if you are feeding a large crowd.  Rather have beef stroganoff… try my homemade variety.  Add some organic canned green beans, some fresh, organic sliced peaches (or organic canned variety – peaches are a pesticide laden fruit!).   Don’t want to spend the money on organic canned peaches?  Try a fruit that isn’t on the dirty dozen list – such as oranges, bananas, or pineapple.  All of these are fine to purchase conventionally and Great Value’ s price on canned pineapple is hard to beat!

Okay, for dessert…

My family doesn’t typically have dessert on weekdays (we save the calories for the weekend).  But, if you’ve got a craving for something sweet, Betty Crocker’s molten chocolate cake is good, but these homemade molten cakes are to die for!  And, while they won’t be done in 30 seconds like Betty Crocker’s variety, you can have these from pantry/fridge to plate in 15 to 20 minutes!  That’s not bad!

Image Credit: Tummy Tales

Molten Chocolate Cakes (aka: Chocolate Heaven)

(Makes two small cakes)

1/2 stick of unsalted butter
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (see note below for substitutions using other chocolates)
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/8 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Butter and flour two 6 oz. ramekins.

In the microwave, melt chocolate and butter together.

Beat together egg, egg yolk, and sugar with mixer until you get a pale, thickness. Stir in flour and chocolate and mix well.  Spoon into prepared ramekins, and set on a flat baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. The sides of the cake will rise and look cake-y, while the center remains liquid and batter-like in appearance.

Remove from oven and let sit for 1 minute in ramekins… if you can! =)
Turn a plate upside down on top of ramekin and flip it right side up.  Allow the cake to sit a minute and then it should pop out.  You might have to run a knife around the edges if it doesn’t release.  Dust with powdered sugar if you like (it makes it pretty!). You can also garnish with whipped cream and/or fresh raspberries or a little raspberry jam.

This post is part of a series on Making Meals Easier for Mom (Meal Solutions).  I hope you love it as much as I do!  Follow me and my fellow Walmart Moms, Jenn at Frugal Upstate, Heather at Domestic Diva, and Lori at My Wooden Spoon, to get a fresh take on a new meal plan each week.  Walmart has provided me with compensation and a gift card in return for this post. Participation in this program is voluntary.  All opinions are my own.

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  1. Melinda McCorbin says:

    Thank you for this option. I haven’t made hamburger helper in years b/c I know the original is so bad for my family!

  2. I made your “hamburger helper” beef stroganoff recipe over the weekend and it cake out great!

    Where do you find Kraft Organic Mac & Cheese? I found it one time at CVS of all places and I have never seen it in a store again.

    • Denisesawyer says:

      Fantasitc! I am glad you like the stroganoff recipe!

      I actually found this box of Kraft organic mac and cheese at CVS too! However, a box of Annie’s or Back to Nature Mac and Cheese would be a great alternative to the Kraft version too!
      Denise Sawyer
      Wholesome Mommy

  3. I didn’t grow up eating box macaroni and cheese, so I’m always a bit confused when I see it as a staple for so many. It really isn’t too much trouble (or even that much more time consuming) to make it with noodles, cheese, and milk without the powder. Now, I use Velveeta (I know it’s processed), but wouldn’t a good cheddar work well and be more natural than box mac and cheese? No judgments here, just curiosity. Thanks.

    • Denisesawyer says:

      Great point! Actually, I wrestled with putting up a recipe that used boxed mac and cheese or putting up a recipe that used a more scratch mac and cheese (with elbow pasta) recipe. I opted for this one because it is just so simple. I thought that this recipe would give moms who are currently using Hamburger Helper an easy alternative that requires no more work and only a few ingredients (that is as simple as it gets!). I am planning on posting my homemade mac and cheese recipe soon too! I’m with you, homemade mac and cheese can’t be beat, and once you’ve made it there is almost no turning back to the boxed kind. However, I do keep a box of mac and cheese on my pantry shelf ‘in case of emergency’ LOL. While homemade mac and cheese is way more delicious, it requires quite a bit more cooking time, so when I’m pressed for time, I can throw together this recipe in a snap! I hope once you see my recipe for homemade mac and cheese you’ll give it a try – you might like it better than your processed Velveeta version, and everything in it is wholesome, non-processed, and/or organic!
      Denise Sawyer
      Wholesome Mommy

  4. It’s great that you have a homemade Hamburger Helper recipe! It’s even better that you use grassfed beef. I work with La Cense Beef, but you should check out our recipe pages. There are some great recipes on the site!

  5. I’ll have to try to adapt this to my mac and cheese recipe. I cook it in the rice cooker, I use whole wheat pasta. It’s pretty awesome, super duper easy, and all real unprocessed food – a total comfort food.

    As far as meat goes, we skip the beef and go for lean ground turkey, which is an extremely affordable alternative to grass-fed beef. (Turkey and chicken farms are not allowed to use hormones and steroids.)

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