Friday, January 22, 2010

Module 6 - Option 1
Herbal Dish ~ Using fresh herbs

Choose two or more of your favorite culinary herbs, preferably herbs that you have growing in your herb garden or in pots, but dried is also acceptable. Use your herbs to create at least one dish that you have not made before. Report on your experience at the discussion board.

Growing up, my grandma cooked a lot of food using pasta. One of me and my little brother's favorite meals was her American style Goulash. She made it with hamburger meat, egg shell pasta, corn, tomato sauce, garlic and salt. It was delicious, but I imagine probably not very healthy. It was all run of the mill grocery store stuff. I thought, Hmmm, wonder if I could change it. Make it organic. Looking at recipes of goulash I realized that grandma's recipes was not real goulash anyway. Just a American dish she decided to call goulash. Anyway I decided to re-invent my grandma's recipe. I'm ½ Romani (how I got the last name Villalobos), so to honor my heritage I call my recipe “Organic Gypsy Goulash”.

Organic Gypsy Goulash

You will need the following ingredients:

1lbs Organic Ground Buffalo Meat
4 cups Organic Shells Whole Grain Spelt Pasta
10 Ripe Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Real Butter (I use Organic Valley)
1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Can Organic Corn
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Basil
¼ Cup of Caraway Seeds
1 Bay Leaf
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 Pots
1 Large Frying Pan

Bring a pot of water to a boil and put all 10 tomatoes and let boil for about a minute or till the skins start to peel. Remove and let cool then peel off skins and remove seeds best you can. Take 8 of them and run them through a blender. Chop the other 2 into small squares.

In another pot over medium heat cook the garlic, corn and bell pepper in the olive oil and butter for about 5 minutes then add the blended tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, basil, caraway seeds and the bay leaf and stir it up good, cover and let simmer for 1 ½ hours over low heat. Stir the tomato paste in and let simmer another ½ hour. Cook the pasta in another pot, and fry up the buffalo meat in a pan and then add the tomato sauce and meat to the pot of pasta, cover and let simmer for another hour. Remove the bay leaf and serve.


You could cheat and just buy organic tomato sauces in the jar but that take half the fun away. I really do believe food taste better when made from scratch with your own hands. The goulash is yummy and filling and can feed a lot of folks for pennies on the dollar, and with the present economy, eating healthy on a budget is important. Never can go wrong with pasta when trying to stretch the budget.

I cooked this over a campfire so you will have to judge what medium and low heat is. Medium for me was a low fire and low was cooking over hot coals.

NOTE: Garlic, basil and bay leaves are pretty popular and well known for their uses. Caraway is not so well known. Below are some facts.

Medicinal Uses of Caraway Seeds:
Caraway is related to dill, fennel and anise and has been thought to have many of the same medicinal properties - an antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, and digestive. It's been used to stimulate milk production in mothers as well as treat infant colic and is often used to flavor children's medicines

Cite References
Our herb garden; History of Caraway;; 01/18/10; Homemade Tomato Sauce;; 01/18/10 (modified recipe)

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