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Homemade "Helper" Mix-in-a-Jar

Shelf Reliance Mom: Homemade "Helper" Mix-in-a-Jar

Monday, June 20, 2011

Homemade "Helper" Mix-in-a-Jar

As many of you know I am going to start Dinner-in-a-Jar nights soon.  I love this posting by fellow THRIVE blogger Rena Hearn at  I am starting to try out some Just-Add-Water Meals and this is next on my list of recipes to try out.  I typically don't eat Hamburger Helper because of all of the added fat and ingredients I can't pronounce that probably aren't the best for my body... this seems like a great alternative and something I can hand over to my dear, sweet husband on nights that my hands are tied.

Recipe: Homemade 'Helper' Recipe

We love easy around here. And we have all been brain washed into believing those boxed ‘helper’ recipes are as easy as it gets. With a whopping 110 Calories in the mix alone and a lengthy list of unhealthy ingredients and preservative, there must be a better way!  Making homemade hamburger helper could not be easier!! You make up a basic ‘mix’ and add noodles and meat as you see fit. You could easily layer noodles, mix and spice into mason jars to give as gifts or as a quick meal. With options such as freeze dried meats or TVP, quick ‘helper’ style meals have never been easier!!

Homemade ‘Helper’ Mix
Mix this all up and store in a glass jar or other sealed container.
Use 1/2 cup for each pound of ground meat.
The Nutrition Info for this basic mix comes to about the following: 41 Calories, less than 1g of fat
Basic Preparation:
  • 1 pound meat (Thrive Freeze Dried Beef, Thrive Beef TVP, or seasoned browned ground beef)
  • 1/2 cup of  ‘helper’ mix (above)
  • 1 to 2 cups noodles (elbow macaroni for example)
  • 1 1/2 to 3 cups water
Stir in meat, dry mix, then add 2 cups hot water and 2 cups noodles. You can add more or less water and noodles, proportionately, depending on much you need to stretch that pound of beef. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook until noodles are tender, about 20 minutes.
This Recipe is easily adaptable to what you have on hand and what you are hungry for. Looking for a cheese burger? Add Thrive Cheese Blend or Shredded Cheddar Cheese. Throw in some Bacon TVP for a bacon Cheese burger! With Thrive Freeze Dried vegetables, its easy to add corn, green beans, or other yummy veggies to your helper meal. Just dd them when you add the noodles. Looking for a comfort food: Instead of macaroni, add 2-3 cups very thinly sliced potatoes. Simmer 20-30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Uncover and simmer until liquid has evaporated.
This recipe is easily adapted to your families dietary needs. Use whole grain pasta. Or gluten Free Pasta. Season and adjust the recipe to your needs and taste.
When you do the math this recipe is an incredible money saver!! You could easily take the $2 or so it takes to buy one preboxed ‘helper’ meal and buy enough pasta to make this recipe 2-3 times! The ‘Helper’ Mix cost about $2 to make & makes about 6 servings, so this mix is going to cost you about $.30 per serving!
With this mix you are going to save time. You can easily customize it to what you have. You are going to save shelf space, all those ‘helper’ boxes take quite a bit of room. You are going to save money, preboxed foods are expensive, and you are going to save your family’s health.
Ready to start making your mix? Go to to get the very best in freeze dried and shelf stable foods. Contact me about making the most of your ‘home store’, or book a ‘make a mix’ party and share this and other great mixes with your friends while earning free products!

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If you are interested in earning the shelf for free, don't forget to like me on facebook and begin following me on my blog.  For full details, you can go to Win a Free Harvest 72".  For another great recipe in only 20 minutes, go to Easy Chicken and Rice.

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