If I make food on the stove or in the oven, it's considered cooking. And if more than one pan gets dirty in the process, you know it's gourmet. I make Helper (as in hamburger and tuna) at least once a week, and I have some tips for classing it up.
If you are making the hamburger kind, do not drain after browning the meat. You are just rinsing all the flavor down the drain! Yes, the shiny oily stuff = flavor. If you're going to cook the meat and then throw away the flavor, you might as well declare yourself a vegan and go live on a commune and tell yourself that grilled organic portobello mushrooms really satisfy your cravings for cow.
Throw a can of vegetables in your pan at the end. My favorite is to make the Tuna Helper Cheesy Pasta flavor and dump in a can of french cut green beans. The green color makes you feel good about yourself, like you're actually eating healthy, because green = vegetable and vegetable = good for you!
Vary your protein additions. If you feel like spending triple the amount of money for something that tastes just like ground beef, try ground bison. If you want your meat to impart absolutely no flavor at all, try ground turkey.
While simmering, throw in a week's supply each of Klonopin and Ambien. Fight the drowsiness for best effect.