Tag Archives: Lentils

Healthy ‘Hamburger Helper’


I’ve been living in the UK for 11 years, but I still remember many of the American commercial jingles – from food to toothpaste – marketing in America is catchy.  The jingle ‘Hamburger Helper…makes a great meal’ is one of them.  Although I can not testify as to to whether or not Hamburger Helper actually does make a great meal, I can say that this healthy interpretation is quick, has a great balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates, and is always devoured by my girls, their dad and myself. The ingredients list looks long, but this dish is so easy – the only work is chopping the vegetables. Once that’s done, chuck it all in and voila! This dish makes a great meal!


500g ground lamb or beef (grass-fed preferably)

2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into small pieces

2 carrots peeled and chopped into small pieces

1 cup of chopped cauliflower

1/2 cup of dried lentils (pre-soaked – see note below)

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of water

1/4 tsp of salt and black pepper

1/4 tsp of mint

Olive oil, dried parsley and creme fraiche as optional garnish


  1. Season the meat with 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper and brown on a med-low heat, covered. This will extract the fat from the meat, which will enhance the flavor of the dish. It’s also what we use to cook the vegetables, so no need to add cooking oil to this dish
  2. Once the meat has browned, add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes
  3. Add sweet potato, lentils, carrots, cauliflower, mint and water. Add enough water to cover the vegetables and meat. Allow to cook for 30-35 minutes on medium-low heat, covered, or until the vegetables are done. Add water as needed
  4. Mash the sweet potatoes into the meat with a spoon, this will give it a lovely thick texture, almost creating a gravy
  5. Garnish with olive oil, dried parsley and a dollop of creme fraiche. I add chili flakes to my serving


Additional Note: 

I don’t cook with many grains other than white rice and occasionally quinoa.  I very rarely cook with beans, although I do love lentils. I will blog about why I choose to limit my grains and beans in my cooking, so keep an eye out for that post.  Also, I didn’t use beans in my cooking until my girls were at least 15 months, mostly because beans need to be pre-soaked which takes time, and I also find them difficult to digest.  More about this later.


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