Quinoa Helper

Anyone remember (or perhaps still buy) Hamburger Helper? The Cheeseburger Macaroni was always my favorite - and was a meal I could actually cook when I was 14. It's such a delightful concept - a whole "homemade" meal, and you only need to buy 2 ingredients. The box of pasta and flavorings (including that weird powdered "cheese") was the base, then you supplied the ground beef and felt like you had put something incredible together! Well today, in my healthier state, I could never justify making that for dinner. But sometimes, on a weeknight when you're exhausted and lack the motivation to prepare a well-balanced meal with good flavors, opening some paper packets and adding a few fresh ingredients sounds ideal.

Luckily, a local Boston chef, Ana Sortun, has created these sophisticated, updated versions just for us! Her Chef Sets provide exactly 2 servings of grains and spices per box, to which you add just 3-4 fresh ingredients from the store.

Last night, we had a beautiful feast of wild salmon with quinoa, crushed pistachios and za'atar spice.

We provided the wild salmon, frozen peas, an onion, and some olive oil; the box provided the rest! Along with simple instructions, this tasty dish was served in under 30 minutes. She also gives you vegetarian options for each of the 4 Chef Sets on her website.

I wholeheartedly approve of products like this. Of course I'm the number one fan of a truly homemade, whole-food meal, but I'm also a realist and know that life doesn't always allow time for that. Instead of grabbing a box full of processed, refined, factory-farmed ingredients, these Chef Sets have unadulterated, pronounceable and nutritious contents that are worth eating!

Which one would you rather eat??

You can purchase Chef Sets online or at Boston-area Whole Foods locations.

Disclaimer: I was given two Chef Sets to review for this blog, but you know me - I don't normally post reviews on here. However, it was so damn tasty and such a clever concept that I had to share!