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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, i am new, and was not sure where to put this, so i just took a chance, and put it here.


I am not a vegetarian, yet at least. I'm still doing research and figuring things out for myself. One of the things I practically live on, is Hamburger Helper. Its fast, easy, and very good, so that's what I have. So I was wondering, if I went veggie, are there any good alternatives to use in Hamburger Helper, instead of beef? I'd really rather not give them up, so any and all suggestions/tips would be greatly appreciated.


Fayme
 

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I had no idea what hamburger helper was, so I had to wikipedia it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia View Post

Some vegetarians use artificial ground beef (usually soy-based) instead of genuine meat when preparing Hamburger Helper. Ground pork, lamb, chicken, or turkey meat can also be substituted by those intolerant of beef or simply for a different taste. However, some Hamburger Helper variaties contain meat products (such as beef extract, found in the Tomato Basil Penne flavor).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburger_Helper

reading from this, it seems like you could use TVP (textured vegetable protein) mince as a replacement. It's just dehydrated soy flour, basically, and you can buy it at a lot of health food shops. Here in the UK you can also buy it in some supermarkets, but I'm sure about other countries./ It needs to be soaked before use and then can be used in more or less the same way as beef mince.

Wikipedia says some of the flavours of hamburger helper contain meat products, so watch out for that when buying
 

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You can use any of the ground soy stuff... I've used yves, it was good... even better than the original! Or even veggie burgers crumbled.
 

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I've used Boca ground beef, which tastes exactly like real ground beef. My picky brother even approves. I used to live on Hamburger Helper, so I've had it quite a few times since going vegetarian. However, since I've started eating a little healthier, I don't like it as much. Compared to the real meals they try to imitate, you can really taste how processed it is.
 

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There are a lot of good suggestions here. Just keep in mind that if you do use some vegetarian 'hamburger' that you use it slightly differently than beef hamburger. For hamburger helper, if I remember correctly (it's been well over a decade, so please humor me), you fry the meat and then add the package and some water and let it simmer? If you were to make it vegetarian, you would just simmer the package and the water until it's almost done and then toss in the veg meat. Veg hamburgers tend to get tough when cooked for too long and seem to lose some of their flavor (this is my experience, at least).
 

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Be careful because several of the Hamburger Helper varieties are not vegetarian and contain Beef Fat. But I too like Hamburger Helper. Sometimes I use the Boca Crumbles (or any of the fake meat crumbles), but usually I just make it without meat.
 

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I make mine from scratch which turns out way better than any boxed helper I ever had. Use the Boca Crumbles..nuke them for about 20 seconds. Boil your macaroni. Sautee some finely chopped onion, green pepper, garlic, whatever suits your taste. Mix the sauteed stuff and salt/pepper with a can of chedder cheese soup and about a half a can of soy/regular milk. Stir in the Boca Crumbles. Fold in the macaroni. Bake in the over for about 15 minutes, throw some shredded chedder on top and bake another 5. Or, you could nuke it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyvel View Post

There are a lot of good suggestions here. Just keep in mind that if you do use some vegetarian 'hamburger' that you use it slightly differently than beef hamburger. For hamburger helper, if I remember correctly (it's been well over a decade, so please humor me), you fry the meat and then add the package and some water and let it simmer? If you were to make it vegetarian, you would just simmer the package and the water until it's almost done and then toss in the veg meat. Veg hamburgers tend to get tough when cooked for too long and seem to lose some of their flavor (this is my experience, at least).
Oh, wow, I didn't know that. I've always defrosted the Boca crumbles and then cooked it like the packaging said. I'll have to try it this way next time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iria View Post

Oh, wow, I didn't know that. I've always defrosted the Boca crumbles and then cooked it like the packaging said. I'll have to try it this way next time.
Boca is probably one of the better kinds.. but really all the stuff needs is to be heated so it doesn't need much cooking time
 

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Ground beef-like crumbles are made by Morning Star, Boca, and Lightlife to name a few. These are in the freezer section. You can also get the Fantastic Foods sloppy joe mix and use it . It's in a box. For something different and spicy, there's a product called Soyrizo in the refrigerated section which is good. There's also a package of soy sausage in a block labeled "sausage" (sorry, I can't remember the brand) which I want to try and would probably work.
 

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As kpickell said, you can just leave out the "meat" component completely. I'm thinking these would also be good if you added in chickpeas or veggies...
 

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I tend to use TVP granules as a replacement for ground meat in things like spaghetti sauce, sloppy joe, taco meat. Just use a little more TVP than you are using liquid, and let it sit for about 5 minutes in the heated liquid. All the veggie crumble type things work well too, but they're lots more expensive.

A small bean like a pink bean or lentils would make a good substitute too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the help!
Tonight im trying the suggestion of making it without meat completely, and seeing how that tastes. I actually decided to add some extra rice to it, to make up for it.
 

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Macaroni noodles + Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles + Sauce (nutritional yeast+nut milk+celtic salt+oregano) = teh yum.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid_child View Post

I tend to use TVP granules as a replacement for ground meat in things like spaghetti sauce, sloppy joe, taco meat. Just use a little more TVP than you are using liquid, and let it sit for about 5 minutes in the heated liquid. All the veggie crumble type things work well too, but they're lots more expensive.

A small bean like a pink bean or lentils would make a good substitute too.
TVP ganules from a bulk bin are a lot cheaper than the "brandname" ground beef substitutes.
 

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Easier and cheaper: boil macaroni, rehydrate TVP with a good, spicy broth (or use soya mince), simmer together in a cheese sauce (ie. melt cheese with a bit of margarine, add milk, spices and flour/cornstarch) or marinara sauce, done. You could also toss in some veg, substitute rice for the macaroni, etc. Easy!
 
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