30 Minute Recipe: Homemade Helper


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Words & Images by Amelia Garland

One pot recipes are like gold for the working mom. When I get home from work at 5:00, I have an hour at most to get dinner on the table so that my husband can get to work, so I am always trying quick and easy recipes.  I practically lived on boxed dinners when I was growing up, like Hamburger Helper. Now a days, many people are steering away from those processed foods, myself included. However, I didn’t really want to let go of those comfort foods. That is why I recreated it, and my family love it. It is one of our go-to dinners that I’ll make in a pinch. Also, It’s a great recipe because you can add almost anything you want and customize it to your own taste.


  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 box of elbow noodles
  • 1 box of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 small bunch of spring onions
  • 1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small can of peas (drained)
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds
  • Salt/Pepper to taste


  1. First, brown the ground beef in a big pot with a little bit of pink salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then, pour in the box of vegetable broth and elbow noodles and diced tomatoes (I like to used diced tomatoes that have some kind of Italian or garlic seasoning). Give a good stir and cook on medium heat. Next, chop up those spring onions and toss them into the pot along with the small can of peas (If you don’t have a can of peas you can use frozen if you wish).
  2. Cook it all together until the elbow noodles are mostly done. You don’t want to cook it too long because you don’t want the noodles to become mushy, and they will continue to cook even after you take them off of the heat. The noodles will soak up most of the broth. Remove from heat and add as much cheddar cheese as you want. The more you add, the cheesier it gets. I prefer to use a sharp cheddar because I think it adds a nice bite.
  3. Finally, I will add the chia seeds. I basically put chia seeds in almost everything I make because they are good for you and they have no taste, so my family is getting a super food in their diet and they don’t even know it!

This recipe will serve 6-8 people. You can easily customize it to make a smaller batch if you don’t want a lot of leftovers.

You can also add things like: Corn, Garlic, Diced white/red onion, Cauliflower, A poached egg served on top (for extra protein), Cumin, Wilted spinach/kale