Friday, July 23, 2010

That's a Lot of Meat

For those of you who have never had Goulash, it's pretty similar to Hamburger Helper. It's just meat, noodles and sauce. It's got a weird name, but it's pretty simple. When my BF asked what I was making for dinner, I told him I was redoing Paula Deen's recipe for Bobby's Goulash, he responded with "It sounds like something I won't like." But, being the trooper he is, he everything I served him!

The first thing I noticed about this recipe was that it called for 3 pounds of ground beef and turkey for 6 servings. That's a lot of meat. I only used 1 lb of lean ground turkey and added some finely diced veggies to take the place of the other 2 pounds of meat. I omitted the added salt and in the future I would probably get the low sodium versions of the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. I used the same elbow macaroni that I've used in the past that has a little bit more protein, although it's not whole wheat. I cut the water in half because all the sauce, meat, veggies and 3 cups of water wouldn't fit it my pot.

The final product was OK. I felt like it was a little over-spiced, but that could be because I significantly reduced the quantity of meat and decreased the water. The recipe also makes a lot! It's written to serve 6, but I probably have enough leftovers to last several days.

Nutritionally, the lightened version was a little bit lighter in terms of calories. One serving is close to 500 calories, but that serving is huge! It's also pretty high in sodium, which is why I'd recommend a switch to low or reduced sodium tomatoes.

Nutritional Information (OLD) Nutritional Information (NEW)
Servings Per Recipe: 6 Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving Amount Per Serving
Calories: 748 Calories: 456
Fat: 42 g Fat: 7 g
Sodium: 2271 mg* Sodium: 1408 mg
Fiber: 6.5 g Fiber: 8.6 g

*Do you see how the original recipe has ~2200 mg Na (which is just about what dietitians recommend you consume in a whole day)? When I was calculating the recipe in SparkRecipes, I couldn't find an entry for Italian seasoning (the brand I used had 0 mg of Na) or seasoning salt (which I omitted in my recipe), so I left it out of both recipe calculations. So the original is probably even higher in sodium than I could calculate!

How do you cut sodium from your favorite recipes?

Meat and Veggie Goulash

1# lean ground beef/turkey
1/3 c diced celery
1/3 c diced carrots
1/3 c diced bell pepper
2 large onions, chopped
1 1/2 c water
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce (look for reduced sodium, if available)
2 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes (look for reduced sodium, if available)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp Italian seasoning (no salt added)
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1/4 tbsp black pepper
1/4 tbsp garlic powder
2 c dried elbow macaroni (I used Barilla)

Cook the beef or turkey in a large pot until no longer pink. Rinse off any grease. Add the diced veggies and saute until tender. Add the water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, garlic, and all the seasonings. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow to cook for 20 minutes.

Add the elbow macaroni and return the lid. Continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid, turn off the heat and allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes before serving. Don't forget to remove the bay leaves!


  1. I have two questions. When you say "rinse off any grease", do you mean with water? Also when you add the elbow macaroni is it cooked or do you add it dry?

  2. What a great pot of food! I would sub some black or pinto beans for the meat and have a delicious vegetarian meal. Thank you for sharing another great and healthy recipe.

  3. This question is for Monet. How many cups of beans would you use to sub for the pound of meat, and would you use canned beans?
    Thanks, Donna

  4. Laura @ Foodies Not FattiesJuly 23, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Yes, usually I rinse off the cooked ground meat with hot water to rinse off a little extra fat. And the macaroni is added uncooked. I like pasta recipes that don't require me to pre-cook the noodles; I'm, efficient like that!
    Beans would be so good in this. And I think it would help with the whole over-spiced issue.