Low Sodium American Goulash – A Healthy Comfort Food
The temperatures continue to fall. So again we want to put something warm and comforting in our tummy! I have been visiting some of the classic comfort dishes and now it is time to look at Goulash! Goulash is something most people have heard of, but few know what it really is. It is traditionally a one pot dish that historically came to the United States via Hungarian immigrants. We have covered Low Sodium Beef Stroganoff and Low Sodium Tater Tot Hotdish. Today we are making low sodium American Goulash.
What is Goulash?
Hungarian Goulash is a soup or stew of meat and vegetables, which is seasoned with paprika and other spices. Typically it is made with cubed pork, veal, or beef. Then there are peppers and root vegetables. Once cooked it is usually served with Barley, Rice, or Egg Noodles. Over the years in the United States, the recipe became “Americanized.”
The version many of us are familiar with is the American Goulash. This Goulash is a tomato-based dish made with ground beef, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. It is then served over, or mixed with, macaroni. I also know that this is also called American Chop-suey. No matter how you ate it, it makes for an easy to prepare, one pot dish that is great any night of the week.
Low Sodium American Goulash
I am diving back in to my family’s recipes and looking to hack the salt. I want to keep these recipes going for our children, and pass along healthier habits for them and their children. Mom would use ground beef and fresh onions and peppers. She would then use canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. I like using fresh tomatoes and letting them break down and simmer into a great sauce. That takes a bit longer, and if you want to get a dinner out quick, you can use the no salt added tomatoes and sauce.
Mom would add cheese (mozzarella or cheddar) in order to trick us kids into eating more of it. I still like cheese on it, but I use a low sodium shredded Swiss or Mozzarella. I also add red wine vinegar to add a depth of flavor to the dish. It helps bring back some of the tomatoes’ bright acidity that I think gets lost in canned tomatoes. It gives a slight tang that helps trick the tongue into thinking it is saltier than it is. So here is my recipe for low sodium American Goulash:
Recipe for Low Sodium American Goulash
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 4 cloves Garlic - diced
- 1 Tbsp Red Wine vinegar
- 1 Medium Onion - chopped
- 1 Bell Pepper - chopped
- 2 cups Tomatoes - diced no salt added if canned
- 16 oz . Tomato Sauce (no salt added if canned or usemy tomato sauce recipe)
- 1 cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
- 1 lb Elbow Macaroni or Medium Shells lowest sodium you can find
In a large saute pan or pot, add the oil, ground beef, garlic, onion and peppers and cook over medium high heat until the beef is browned and the onions and peppers are turning translucent.
Add the paprika, black pepper, red wine vinegar, tomatoes, and sauce and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the meat mixture is simmering, cook the pasta to an almost al dente status, then drain the pasta and add to the meat and sauce to finish cooking for 5 more minutes.
Serve into bowls and top with some shredded cheese and serve.