Snowy Day Beef Goulash

Welcome to the kick-off recipe of my latest column! A year-long project highlighting a homemade, healthy, gluten-free CrockPot recipe for every week of 2014. A salute that I am calling “52 Weeks of CrockPot Cooking”.

Or, as my friend suggested, “The Year I Ate Stew”.

While the first of my 52 recipes certainly is a stew, I hope to offer a diverse menu, including gluten-free sides, savories, mains, and sweets.

Today’s recipe really comes without much inspiration. I guess you could say it’s a rustic take on a “throw it all in a pot” dish. The traditional goulash has macaroni noodles, but I opted for potatoes as the starch instead.

I got my goulash going early so that my shovel and I could tango the day away out in the 10+ inches of snow coming down on this second day of the year. Thank goodness my family and I will have a warming comfort food to scarf down tonight. I’m one of those good-neighbor types that shovels our elder’s drive, so after hours of pushing perfect ski-season powder, I will be ready to chow.

The Snowy Day Beef Goulash is really just a poor-man’s mix of the usual suspects I keep in my kitchen. I would’ve called it Meat and Potatoes Chili, but I ran out of chili powder. Hope you enjoy!

Snowy Day Beef GoulashThe main contenders:

  • A pound of browned and drained low-fat ground beef
  • A small can of tomato paste
  • A can of small white beans, half the liquid drained
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, including the leafy green tops, diced
  • A small onion, diced
  • 2 cups of diced potatoes, I had a couple small Yukon golds and 1 large baking potato
  • 2 cups of water

Flavor it up:

Use as much or as little of each spice, depending on your palate.  A half-tablespoon of each would be a good starting point. I don’t add any salt in this since there is so much sodium hiding in the liquid of the white beans.

  • Garlic powder
  • Chili powder
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Bay leaf

Just be sure to use some cooking spray or line your CrockPot for this easy, inexpensive, gluten-free  recipe. A one-bowl-won’t-be-enough-wonder, all you have to do is mix all the ingredients together really well and cook your Snowy Day Goulash on low for 6-8 hours.

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