Kids are such picky eaters. If you have small children or have taken care of a relative’s or friend’s child you’ll know that making them eat can be an exercise in futility and holding back your temper. All of the parents I know wish there’s a formula to make their kids eat without any fuss or battles.
One good tactic to make kids eat is to serve food that they love. This is where the Hamburger Buddy comes in. This is an easy to make pasta dish that kids will definitely want second helpings of – it’s pasta for god’s sake, and I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like eating pasta. Before you think that this is another unhealthy dish, think again. By including finely chopped veggies, you can incorporate vegetables into their diet without them being the wiser. Food processing carrots make it fine enough that they won’t notice it in the dish. This could become a staple or go-to dish in your home.
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
10 ounces white mushrooms, large ones cut in half
1 large onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups water
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles, (2 cups)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or chives for garnish
- Fit a food processor with the steel blade attachment. With the motor running, drop garlic through the feed tube and process until minced, then add carrots and mushrooms and process until finely chopped. Turn it off, add onion, and pulse until roughly chopped.
- Cook beef in a large straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften and the mushrooms release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in water, 1 1/2 cups broth, noodles and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Whisk flour with the remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl until smooth; stir into the hamburger mixture. Stir in the sour cream. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley (or chives), if desired.