Tasty Old Fashioned Gluten Free Goulash

So, y’all are drooling over goulash the Old Fashioned way but you’re gluten free? No worries. I have worked on this for about a year now, and I finally have the answer.

I know many of you are also dairy free and this recipe could easily be dairy free with just elimiatining or changing to a dairy free cheese. In my family, we’ve done enough healing to eat cheese again on occassion, and we buy good quality cheese. It’s hard to live without cheese, that’s why healing is important, now we don’t have to. I wasn’t living without pizza. There was a time that we did avoid cheese and gluten while we were healing, but that’s something we can tolerate in moderation now.

Most of what I cook doesn’t come from a recipe. I tried to cook that way in the past, but I always end up missing ingredients and having to improvise (not good for someone that doesn’t really cook, hehe) or I’d burn it and that just left us hungry or calling for carryout.

In recent years, I’ve started learning more about nutrition, holistic nutrition, not counting calories or grams of protein, but the effects of food on our body. I’ve learned food makes us well or food makes us sick. There is a lot of truth in the statement Let Food Be Thy Medicine (or thy toxin).

I used to eat anything I wanted, still kind of do, but that’s taken some healing and discipline. I don’t even want a lot of things that I used to eat. It’s true that our taste changes and we can learn to like different foods. Proud member of the Picky Eaters Club that is learning to eat veggies in my mid-40s! We can also develop aversions to foods when they make us feel bad. If something causes pain enough times you just stop doing it, right? That’s why I don’t eat a plate of spaghetti, or a cinnabon treat from the mall. The thought of either makes me want to double over in misery. Actually, just the smell in the mall takes me back to the days of constant stomach pain and burning. I’m so glad I don’t live like that anymore.

Pain is a powerful thing. I lived in pain most of my life because I didn’t realize what was causing it. When I learned I could control most of my pain with food, I started paying a little more attention to what I was eating. If you want to know more about my history, check out a few of my other blog posts. I’d be happy to help you learn how to heal your pain; it’s easier than you think.

Once healed, you can eat things like goulash, which is why you’re reading this in the first place, so let me see if I can share what I do for goulash…

Here’s what I use:

Measurements are estimated, I don’t measure, I just sprinkle it as I’m cooking. Please season for your taste.
  • 2 small/med sweet onions
  • 4 small sweet peppers
  • 2-3# grass fed beef
  • Large can of diced tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 2 cans of tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 1 box Gluten Free Penne pasta
  • Cheddar cheese from pasture raised cows
  • Ghee/Butter from Pasture raised cows
  • Himalayan or Sea salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Turmeric
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
*We use all organic ingredients unless they aren’t available. Eating organic will make a difference in your health.

To get started, add approx. 2 tlbs of ghee to a 12” skillet and melt. Dice 2 sweet onions, and add to melted butter/ghee. Add additional ghee if the skillet gets too dry. As onions cook down, season w Himalayan salt or Sea salt, Black pepper, turmeric, oregano, and garlic powder. If you want measurements I’m going guess: 1/2 tsp salt/pepper, 1/4 turmeric, oregano and garlic. Stir occasionally until onions are half soft.

Move onions to outer area of skillet and add 2-3# grass fed beef. Repeat seasonings: Salt/Pepper/Turmeric/Oregano/Garlic. Cook beef, drain. Add in 4 small chopped sweet peppers (orange and yellow have such great flavor, but one red will spice it up a bit). I use the center of the skillet to cook the peppers until soft and then mix everything together and brown the beef a little longer.

Add 1 large can of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of tomato sauce. Stir everything together. Cook on med heat for 15-20 min, until tomato sauce is hot and starts to boil, then turn heat down to low.

In separate pot, boil water w H salt to cook penne pasta. Cook paste a few minutes less than cook time on the box. Drain. Add to skillet w meat/tomato sauce.

As all of the above comes to a boil, shred fresh cheddar over entire skillet and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 min. Serve.

I’d love to hear how yours turns out, so be sure to keep me posted!

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I got a pic just in time. After this, it got quiet. #goodstuff

Why I Believe in My Superfoods

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This is how Superfoods make me feel! And, for a girl w a chronic pain and fatigue disorder, that’s pretty damn special!

Superfoods…  a health term that gets thrown around A LOT these days, huh? So, what are they? Why are some foods super and some not? GOOD QUESTION! It’s taken me a long time to figure it out too. If you want to know the truth, I’m still learning more every day!

My superfoods have changed the way I am able to live. I have multiple chronic illnesses that were being controlled by what I was putting in my body.

I don’t like veggies very much. I’m a very picky eater, my grandmother used to call me “finiky”… it’s a texture thing and an anxiety thing for me. If I think I don’t like it, I don’t like it… I know, grow up, Katie. I’ve tried. I’ve gotten better, but I’m just not one that likes a big variety of foods.

I know I can eat plenty of protein and fiber (kinda) and goods fats. Y’all do know the necessity of good fats, right? The whole fat-free thing is a bunch of milarchy. It’s crucial that our bodies get good fats and if they don’t multiple disease processes can appear. Good fats keep our brain working… our brain controls EVERYTHING!

Did you know you can get TOO MUCH PROTEIN, and it will make you gain weight just like sugar will? Actually, when you eat too much protein, it turns into sugar, and then fat. That’s why I’m not a protein shake kinda girl, I’m a SUPERFOOD shake kinda girl. Sure, I need protein, but I eat protein… eggs, steak, chicken, and bacon aren’t the hard part for me, it’s the veggies. Yes, I was that kid, and still am at 46.

So, how do I get my veggies, I have some that I love and we have them with dinner each night, some days I have Caesar salad w meat on it for lunch, but my Shakeology fills in the missing nutrition. #winning

Why Shakeology?

I took this holistic nutrition class and learned about adaptogenic herbs. Cool things, those adaptogens… they help my body adapt to stress. I didn’t know food did that!!! Did you?? Adaptogenic herbs help my body detox and fight the stress of everyday life and the toxic substances that I breathe in and ingest.

Then, I learned that Shakeology has digestive enzymes and prebiotics and probiotics. Why does that matter? Have you heard of digestion? I know, stupid question… Digestion is the process of absorbing nutrients to fuel our body. Here’s the thing, we need digestive enzymes to help absorb the good stuff and not the bad, we need prebiotics to help feed the probiotics. Those probiotics help digest the food we eat so we can absorb the nutrients. These enzymes and natural organisms used to be in our food.

Ever heard of phytonutrients and antioxidants? These are the super greens and funny sounding plants that provide immune benefits. Did you know with a healthy immune system you can fight off almost any disease there is, including cancer? I know I sound like a nut, trust me, it was new to me when I first heard it too. I am a total believer though, I’ve seen too many people get healthier by committing to holistic nutrition.

Did you know that antioxidants actually are like a detox for your body? Seriously! Isn’t that cool!? They help eliminate free radicals. What are free radicals? There are toxic substances that float around in our bodies from different environmental assaults (foods, stress, organisms, chemicals, etc.). Antioxidants eliminate those free radicals… SWEET, give me some! I’m all for free, but not when it comes to toxins in my body, that’s what weakens my immune system. Not cool!

So, what else do I need to tell you?? Oh, yea, there IS protein in Shakeology. What I found in the past was most protein shakes are whey or soy, both are inflammatory for most people. (More about chronic inflammation and how it contributes to disease here.) Whey, soy, and too much protein are going to cause weight gain, which is not what most people are looking for.

My choice for protein is plant-based proteins: quinoa, oat, rice, flax, chia, and pea. Why? flax and chia have omega 3 fatty acids which are good fats that my body needs. I don’t want whey because dairy is inflammatory. I significantly limit soy because soy is bad for our endocrine health, want to know more -> read this.

You see, Shakeology is my way of getting 70 different anti-inflammatory foods, most of which I don’t know how to source or prepare. That’s A LOT of holistic nutrition in a tasty treat, folks!

Superfoods are super important for the long-term health of your body. If you’d like to know more about the choices I make, reach out, let’s chat. If you want to join my groups, I’m happy to be your health coach, we ALL need a health coach (mine makes my world a much easier place to navigate). If you want to contact me via my coach website or order Shakeolgy, start here, or you can find me on Facebook @ Katie Pink Tolley

I hope you find a way to make your wellness journey enjoyable. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all get by with a little help from our friends. 😉

If you’d like to hear what’s so special about Shakeology from the developer herself (yes, HER, one of my heroes, Isabelle), click here.

Oh, I should probably add the health issues that I had that are almost non-existent now that I practice an anti-inflammatory lifestyle 90% of the time along with adding in Shakeology: Asthma, Allergies, Thyroid imbalance, Eczema, Restless Leg Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrom, Constipation, Anxiety, ADHD, Sleep problems, constant stomach pain, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Disorder. Yea, that’s tiring to even think about, so glad I found holistic nutrition and these superfoods. They’ve changed my life, actually, now I can live my life! #golden

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Graphic compliments of Beachbody

As always, Enjoy the Journey & Be Well. ~kp

My (Kinda) Healthy Thanksgiving

Hehehe, do you like how I threw in “kinda”? We all have to live a little, right??

Our family does a pretty simple Thanksgiving, but I know some people have an all out smorgasbord. What side of the party does your family fall on?

My family does the traditional turkey thing. We started getting a free-range fresh turkey the past couple years and it’s pretty tasty too! This is the second year I am “brining” the turkey myself. I did a homemade concoction last year and found a great option that was a little simpler this year.

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This is the brine I used this year.

Lucky me, I only have to do the prep part, my mom does the cooking the bird part. At 46, I am still blessed enough to have my mom fixing most of the important holiday meals in my family.

I will be fixing some of the sides to help out though. I’ve finally taught my daughter to eat sweet potatoes, so I get to make more mashed sweet potatoes than I usually do. I’m still working on that picky 15-year old I have upstairs. I will be making regular mashed potatoes for him and my dad, well kinda regular. Don’t tell, but I will be substituting cow’s milk for cashew milk and LOTS of real butter. We love butter and eat lots of it, give me all the good fats to keep me healthy!

We try to avoid dairy (cow’s milk) and as much gluten as possible. Dairy and gluten are inflammatory and my family has major reactions to both. We don’t have the typical “allergic” reactions people think of, ours are more subtle. Stomach aches the next day, unexplained fatigue, constipation, brain fog, vague complaints that are easily overlooked, but we know more now; so, we make accommodations, it’s not as hard as you think.

We will have homemade sweet potatoes biscuits from our local farmer’s market and we will also have pie as well. My mom likes to make sweet potato pie. I am not really a pie person, so I bought apple cobbler, it still has some crumbs (yes, gluten) and such (sugar), but that’s ok. 😉

We will have peas (my dad LOVES frozen peas), and green beans for a real green veggie, and I think I’ll make brussel sprouts too, we love sprouts, but that’s a new thing. If you’re family doesn’t eat sprouts, try a little onion and bacon, they might just change their mind.

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Sprouts w bacon and onions, OH MY!

We don’t do anything extravagant, our family gatherings have dwindled in size as people grow and spread out. I have some of the best memories of Thanksgivings with all my cousins when we were growing up. Games of Trivial Pursuit, chasing each other on trikes and 4 wheelers, driving around the driveway before we were old enough to drive… good stuff.

We will have one dish that is a staple, and yes, we will go all out and splurge, and yes, we will probably pay for it… but we WILL have homemade dumplings like my great-grandmother used to make. We’ve subbed gluten-free flour before, and it’s just not the same. Sometimes, you just have to go for the real thing. We are fortunate that we can splurge, but if we do it too often, we really see health problems. We should avoid it, or those health problems will worsen, but it’s SO HARD to be completely gluten free and dairy free.

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Dad’s ole faithful

A couple years in a row, I made some homemade cranberries, but nobody really cares, and my dad IS having his out of a can, (insert eye roll) but what’s it matter, it makes him happy. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m kinda wishing I did get some fresh cranberries… hum… I think I still have time, so maybe I better cut this off here. 😉 

I’d love to know some of your family’s favorite dishes. It’s always fun to learn new things and other’s family traditions.

I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy day of thanksgiving and gratitude for the goodness in your life.

Be well & Enjoy the Journey!

Gobble, Gobble.