Friday, March 02, 2007


While I didn’t cook anything particularly interesting this week (we ordered in Indian food that lasted for days) I did eat something I never had eaten before. Wonder what it was? Hamburger Helper, that’s what. Being a lifelong vegetarian, and having parents with a little sense, we didn’t eat things like hamburger helper. I don't even know if they had veggie meat crumbles back when Iwas a kid. I think not.

On my way home from work yesterday I remembered there was no food in the house so I stopped by the store and tried to think of something quick and easy since I didn’t want to put any effort into it. I remembered that we had a package of veggie meat in the freezer. A light went on in my brain, Hamburger Helper. I also picked up some asparagus and leeks but I prepared them very similarly to last week’s dish (with some minor changes) so it wasn’t worthy of a Foodie Friday, but it was incredibly delicious. Tony tackled the Hamburger Helper since he knew how to cook it better than me. We settled down to watch the movie of Watership Down (since we DVRed it months ago but just recently finished the book) and a nice all American meal. It wasn’t too bad. The movie, however, was a little bad. It followed the storyline relatively closely but lacked any of the suspense and tension of the book. Events happened so quickly that you didn't have time to worry if things were going to end up ok.

Even though it was a new food, am not going to post about how to make Hamburger Helper. If you are curious, the instructions are on the box. Instead I will talk about one of my favorite things to make, Mango Salsa. It’s super easy but oh, so yummy!

-5 roma tomatoes nice and ripe (diced)
-½ red onion
-2 cloves garlic
-1 large jalapeno pepper depending on how hot you like things you can leave the seeds in, or not.
-Juice of 2 limes or maybe three
-Zest of one lime
-1 ripe mango (diced)
-½ cup of cilantro (loosely measured)
-dash of salt (optional)

-Put the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro in a food processor or blender and mix until everything is very finely chopped

-Combine the tomatoes and mango in a large bowl

-Add the lime zest and salt to the bowl and stir

-Throw the blended mixture into the bowl cover with the lime juice and stir


I have also taken the finished product and put it back in the blender (because I don’t have a food processor) and blended everything to make a more salsaish salsa vs. this pico de galloish version. Both are fantastic.

I was having the shuffle of the century on my way to work this morning. It was like in school when the massive CD player seemed to know exactly what we wanted to hear. I hope it is as good now.

You Don’t Send Me, Belle and Sebastian- This song has the grooviest groove that you could ever hope to have. You put this tune and arms will be swinging and snapping at every turn. This is one of my favorite Belle and Sebastian songs, which may not mean all that much because I have about fifty favorites.

Good Feeling, Violent Femmes- While this is easily not one of my favorite Femmes songs it happens to be growing on me more and more as I get older. I have realized that about a lot of songs I used to want to skip. Now I really kind of groove to them. I guess the idea that tastes mature is true, or maybe I just got sick of the other songs.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Richie Havens-
I remember one time the family was in the airport and this really cool looking older guy was there with a pretty young woman. My dad got incredibly excited and went to go shake his hand. The guy was Richie Havens. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to find a copy of the song “Dreaming as One” without buying an entire CD but have failed miserably. Maybe my parents have an idea….


Steven Novak said...

Salsa isn't even good in salsa...but Good Feeling is indeed a great song. ;)


Garrett said...

I could fall in love with someone who does Hamburger Helper with avocados and leeks. Your boyfriend is a lucky man.

Johnny Yen said...

I've rarely met a salsa I didn't like, but I'm still trying to adjust my head to the idea of mixing fruit and salsa-- I'm old school-- but I love mango chutney, and need to get up to Devon Avenue to stock up on it.

Love Richie Havens. My son and I were watching his perfomance in "Woodstock" not too long ago. It's a little strange to hear him in commercials these days. That's funny that he covered a song that takes the perspective of a Confederate soldier.

BTW, there was a New York Times article on him a few years ago-- he runs an ecology camp for kids these days. Very cool.

With a mother who worked full time, I had plenty of Hamburger Helper, and I never ever needed to see Hamburger Helper again after childhood. Nor mac and cheese. Now with my celiac, those are no-no's anyway, though my kids love mac and cheese, so I make it for them.

Michael C said...

I have helped make hamburger but never had Hamburger helper. Maybe one day I'll try it.

notfearingchange said...

LOVE the salsa reciepe...

For me easy dinner:
1. steam green veggies of some sort. 4 minutes done.
2. throw chicken breast with seasoning (steak seasoning; italian etc doesn't matter) on broil 3 minutes done.
3. roast potatos if i have time. no time - bread is good.

terry said...

you know, i don't think i've ever had hamburger helper either...!
i applaud your adventurous culinary spirit.

CSL said...

I like mango and I like salsa, so I think I could go with this. Minus the cilantro, which tastes like a dead thing to me. And about the music - Tag!

CSG said...

I miss quick foodies like mac and cheese and hamburger helper. We don't have those in Spain. Yet. When I went to NYC last April with my husband, the first thing I wanted to show him was a supermarket. He loved it!

BionicBuddha said...

I was drooling with my mouth open like a dog in despair at dinner time, as I read your blog ;).

Mood Indigo said...

I'm loving these foodie posts :) I am still wanting to make your tofu-creme sauce veggie dish! I did think of you when I did a quick chard/mushroom/pepper sautee with brown rice yesterday - yum :)

ShadowFalcon said...

haven't listen to Violet Femmes in years!

Mango Salsa.. I tried it once and didn't love it but there is always time to try again

Natalie said...

Steven- You must be one of those boring peple who likes bland food. Nevre would have guessed.

Garrett- Damn right he is lucky. To be fair it was asparagus, not avocado.

Johnny- It's good. My friend dave makes a pineapple salsa that has no tomatoes, just pineapple instead. I was scared but it is good. You are a nice dad to make food you can't eat. Much props.

Michael- It's not that cool, but it was cool enough.

Not fearing- that sounds well balanced and yummy, and easy. I'm not good with easy.

Terry- thanks, with all the meat stuffs I can't eat I experiment with pretty much anything else.

Natalie said...

CSL- GOt your tag, fun stuff. I know a lot of people don't like cilantro. Personally, it is like crack MMMM crack.

CSG- Maybe if we didn't have that kind of food we wouldn't be so fat as a country...

Bionic- That's good to know. Scary, but nice.

Mood- That sounds so yummy. Do they have tofu in south africa? I suppose in a big city they would? maybe.

shadow- I have had some that I haven't liked, but I like mine. Love when something old creeps onto my random shuffle. It makes me smile.

Morgen said...

Dressing up Hamburger Helper with asparagus and leeks ~ very creative!
Sounds good!
And the mango salsa -- yummmy!
I'll bet my friend Janna would get a big kick out of that recipe!

Jaclyn said...

"You Don't Send Me" sounds to me like a 70's Game Show theme song...or something swingers would put on to set a mood. Either way, it's the only b&s song I consistently skip over when listening to DCW. It drives me bonkers.

Natalie said...

Mo- It was pretty good stuff. I was a litle shocked.

Jaclyn- I think those are the exact reasons why I like it so much.

Monica said...

dad met richie havens? NO WAY