Changing your diet is never easy—especially when it means giving up some of your favorite foods. Sure, it helps to know that your efforts will be rewarded as you begin to look and feel better, but temptations and old habits may still threaten to land you right back where you started.
A great strategy to assist with changing your diet is to make wholesome versions of your unhealthy favorites. It’s like training wheels for healthy eating! Love Hamburger Helper night? Well, this Hamburger Casserole is a real-food version of that concept. While traditional Hamburger Helper contains grain-based noodles, artificial ingredient–laden sauce, and dairy-based mix-ins, this wholesome version combines simply shredded sweet potatoes with fresh spices, natural ketchup and mustard, and onions, pickles, and tomatoes. It tastes pretty awesome, too!
Note: As a rule of thumb, avoid purchasing foods that begin in a box, such as Hamburger Helper or boxed cake and brownie mixes. Sure, it’s convenient to simply follow the directions on the back of the box, but as you’re learning here, real-food cooking can become as convenient as you want it to be.
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 pound ground beef
½ cup yellow onion, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup natural ketchup
¼ cup yellow mustard
¼ cup sweet pickles, chopped
¼ cup tomato, chopped
Add the spice blend ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a 10 × 15-inch glass casserole pan with olive oil.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into pieces small enough to fit through the food processor feed tube. Using the grating attachment, shred the sweet potatoes, then set aside.
Combine the ground beef with the onion, salt, pepper, ketchup, and yellow mustard in the casserole pan. Use a spoon or spatula to break up the mixture until it’s well combined.
Add the spice blend to the shredded sweet potatoes and spread the mixture over the ground beef. Cover the casserole tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Turn on the broiler to high. Remove the foil and place the pan under the broiler for a few minutes, until the tops of the sweet potatoes are golden. Sprinkle with the pickles and tomatoes and serve warm.