October 21, 2013
This weekend was a weekend for

the first cup of cocoa, wearing glasses and flannel, homemade goulash, visiting the brand new dollar store that opened in our teeny tiny town (and leaving with nothing), working on a presentation I'm going to make later this week, renting Mud, talking about baby names, taking baths, snacking on cinnamon toast, cleaning up the laundry piles in the bedroom, going over to Grandma & Grandpa's house for sunday dinner, buying boots, peanut butter banana oatmeal cookies, writing papers (Grant), cleaning up the email inbox (me), seeing the neighborhood leaves scooped up into giant orange jack-o-lantern trash bags, taking a gestational diabetes test, chopping up every veggie in my fridge to make a pot of chicken chili, and sorting 50 Promises on the living room floor while we watched Peyton Manning play the Colts.

I mentioned homemade goulash at the top of this post, and... I don't know how you feel about goulash. Maybe it was a meal that was on your school lunch menu growing up? I've heard some Minnesotans and Iowans say that was their experience, and it wasn't necessarily awesome. And I say, "Really?! Goulash was never a school thing for me." For me, goulash brings back sweet memories. It was a dinner table star. Mom made only once in awhile and I loved it. I can even remember requesting it. Goulash was something to be hugely looked forward to. And really, what's not to love? It's a humble skillet of beef, macaroni, and tomato sauce and it's oh-so-comforting and filling. You can kinda make it whatever you want it to be. And you can top it with monterey jack cheese or a dollop of sour cream. Mmm. Also, it gets better as leftovers. I've even heard some say that true goulash lovers like to make it fresh, cool it down, refrigerate it overnight to let all the flavors mingle, and then reheat and serve the following day. 

If goulash was a meal that you were none too excited about, maybe it's time to try it again. (I just learned that it's a Hungarian word. It means herdsman's stew. Fun! But today I'm not making a traditional Hungarian goulash, just good old Americanized goulash.) Here's my easy recipe, made with nourishing grass fed beef, sweet red bell pepper, and brown rice pasta. This way, it's gluten free! But it would be amazing with whole wheat elbow macaroni, too. My mom used to make her goulash with ketchup, but I've revamped her recipe a bit and used tomato paste, some apple cider vinegar, and a little maple syrup. It turned out so yummy. I kind of snacked on it all weekend long. I'm marking this dish as a freezer meal idea to make before the baby comes. 

Simple American Goulash

1 lb. elbow macaroni pasta (use brown rice pasta for gluten-free goulash)
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped 
1 can organic tomato sauce
2 T. organic tomato paste
1-2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. maple syrup, raw sugar, or coconut sugar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Preferably cook pasta al dente, this way the noodles won't be overly soft if you decide to re-heat the goulash for leftovers later. In a large cast iron skillet, brown the hamburger with with the onion and pepper, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining ingredients to the skillet and stir until well combined and heated through. Add the cooked macaroni to the meat mixture and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese for topping, or a dollop of sour cream. Makes great leftovers, and it's perfect for packing in school lunches. 

 What were your dinner requests as a little kid?
(I also used to ask for mini corn dogs, fried egg sandwiches, and pizza.)


Mariel said...

Perfect meal for chilly nights! I don't have any macaroni on hand, so I'm thinking about making this tonight with brown rice and some shredded beef I cooked over the weekend. So not quite like true Goulash, but maybe his closely related cousin?!

summer said...

Yum, Mariel!! That sounds really good!

Josie said...

Yum - my grandma used to make something similiar but used to add (gasp) velveeta...
Will have to try this version but maybe add some raw cheddar...perfect for a fall night!

sarah {on the brightside...} said...

This is definitely a nostalgic dinner for me too. My grandma used to make it for me & my siblings when we were kids. I always really loved her chicken & homemade noodles, served over mashed potatoes... perfect comfort food! Now that she is gone those meals always remind me of her!! :)

Kelly said...

Yum! My mom made ghoulash, and it was very similar to yours. I think it had stewed tomatoes and maybe green peppers in it? Yours sounds great!

Laura Murphy said...

I can only remember requesting homemade bread. My mom baked every week, which was a labor of love in the Amazon heat.
I want to make your goulash, but we're out of grass-fed beef. Our order gets in on Friday. I think I'll use our quinoa penne from Costco. A great deal, a big bag (about 2 lbs.) for about $6.
Your pictures were so beautiful.

Whitney Lane said...

So I'm wondering if goulash might be a northern thing because (gasp!) I've never heard of it! It looks delicious though!

Diana Hulme said...

Just made this recipe (thanks!) But it was waaaaay too vinegar-y for us...couldn't eat it! :( I'm guessing maybe you guys like that strong taste with all the fermenting and sauerkraut you make huh. Anyways, just wanted to comment with our experience.

acoldcupofcoffee said...

Well, it was nothing short of amazing. I loved it so much, in fact, that i shared it on my blog and linked it to your blog. Thank you for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

What size tomato sauce? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have always just made it the lazy way: ground beef, salt and pepper, can of peas,tomato sauce with either
Noodles or rice.
I've read many recipes with different veggies, I like peas with this the best. Serve with a reach salad. Delish!!!



about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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