I have tendency to be a little over-zealous when the New Year rolls around. I want to train for a marathon and read 52 books in a month and reorganize my whole house and take sewing, photography and dance classes. All today. Right now. And I usually set lofty goals only to be reminded a year later that I’m only one person—with plenty enough to do everyday—aside from visit the Sistine Chapel and learn to quilt. So while I work on a very bold and bright ’40 Things to Do While I’m 40 list’ (in photoshop) I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite recipes. And if you have any wonderful suggestions for my 40’s list, leave them in the comments section and maybe I’ll add them to the list. And now, lest you think I have no recipes that aren’t laden with butter and cream, I give you

My Big Fat (Butterless, Creamless) Greek Goulash
What you’ll need:
1 ½ pounds ground beef
½ t. ground cloves
1/3 pound bulk sausage
½ t. cinnamon
1 large eggplant
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 large onions
1. T. worcestershire
2 cloves garlic
1 T. olive oil
1 can tomatoes
2 T. honey
¼ t. Cayenne pepper
salt, pepper to taste
Tzatziki Sauce (16 oz greek yogurt mixed with 2 T. lemon juice, 2 T. olive oil, 2 T. honey and chopped cucumber)

Brown beef and sausage together adding salt and pepper to taste and a little olive oil if the meat is ultra-lean. Add cayenne and chopped garlic. (This photo makes me almost want to be vegetarian.)

Cut eggplant into small bite sized cubes and add to meat mixture. The eggplant will soak up all the liquid but be patient and it will release its’ liquids soon.
Chop onions into thinly sliced half moons and add to a separate pan with 2 T. olive oil.
If the meat and eggplant mixture get too dry, add a little olive oil if necessary and cook on medium heat until the eggplant is softened.
Add one can of diced tomatoes (with juice) and then cloves, cinnamon, vinegar, Worcestershire, and honey. Taste and add more salt as necessary.
Continue to cook the onions—it usually takes about 30 minutes until they are carmelized.
Cook 1/3 package of orzo pasta according to directions on package and then add the fully cooked pasta to the meat mixture. Then make the tzatziki sauce using the greek yogurt.
Serve by layering each plate with meat/pasta mixture then onions topped with feta cheese and tzatziki sauce. The carmelized onions are like a party in your mouth. Do not attempt to skip this step or worse yet add the ‘fried onions’ you can buy at the store. Don’t do it. Carmelize your own and soon you’ll be adding them to your Raisin Bran. Enjoy with pita bread and a greek salad!
Download a copy of the recipe here.
And for those of you blog stalkers who care, I’m leaving on Saturday for a quick visit to Philadelphia/Atlantic City for my 40th birthday. I’m going with my sister and JamieKnoxville. It should be big fun. I’m taking every precaution and forbidding Washington apple martinis! (a very funny inside joke). I plan to laugh till I cry, spend hours chatting with two of my favorite people, spend the afternoon in Anthropologie, take hundreds of pictures, and read a book. What other suggestions do you have for me?

28 comments on “My Big Fat Greek Goulash”

  1. Too funny Edie. #1 I just posted my New Years thoughts and as read your I was thinking "Gee's we're a lot alike until…I saw the beef photo! Which brings me to #2 I'm about to post the rules to my (Red) Meatless Monday's. I hope you'll join in, it would work as long as you substitued the beef for ground turkey or something. Sorry but having been a veggie for 7 years, I'm trying. Love ya! Happy New Year!

  2. sounds so good and much easier than the Greek food I grew up on and now make! This looks like it will be on our menu this week! Thanks for sharing.

  3. hi edie.
    i meant to get back to you….i use iPhoto. i haven't learned or purchased photoshop yet…because i am scared. 🙂
    i made our christmas card collage on Picnik.
    your dinner here looks yummy. that is something i have never made before. ever.
    maybe i will have to give it a try.

    have a blast for your 40th. it sounds like so much fun.

  4. I think most of us do exactly that — expect too much too soon. Thank you for sharing the recipe, I will have to try it. Enjoy your birthday! You will be in my neck of the woods. Atlantic City has plenty of shopping now. Suggestions? Mochatinis!

  5. Happy Birthday! Read your blog often now! I am a fellow E.T. (east tennessesean – chattanooga) but now live in Texas. I made the angel biscuits twice this holiday-yummy! DO laugh until you cry for your 40th, for when you celebrate your 50th, you'll be laughing until you pee!!

  6. I love goulosh..always good! You sound like me, going out to conquer the new year, but this year I decided to do little bits here and there..not so overwhelming! (See my post)You have a blast on that trip..I suggest laughing til you are crying from the beginning to the end! Come say hi ;D

  7. Gifts in the mail and it's handmade on my new sewing machine…hope you like it. 🙂 Congrats on turning 40…you and Favre!

    BTW, it's the new 30.

  8. My 40th is coming up in Jan also and I love the idea of 40 things to do in your 40s.
    Like Ms These are The Days I am also going more veggie this year. Being the overachiever that I am, I skipped right past meatless mondays and opted for only 1 meat meal a week. So far, so good with the help of veggie "meat" crumbles. Your photo of all the meat did make me wrinkle my nose a little, I admit it.
    As for Photoshop, I use it often but for creating graphics more than editing photos. There are some great tutorials online which I will pull put of my bookmarks for you when the craziness of the new year dies down.
    Have a fabulous time on your birthday weekend and remember to always double down on 11.

  9. What a fun post….it has everything I like- some good food, some passionate ambition, and some girlie fun! As for your list: I attempted something similar last year for my (sorry) 25th. Check it out if you want some inspiration: http://bowdenisms.blogspot.com/2008/11/24-before-25.html

    As for Philly- my husband is from there, and I love it (But I've never been to A.C.) Obviously you have to make sure to get a Cheesesteak (everyone will tell you Pat's or Gino's, but even the suburban versions are delish), you can run the "Rocky" steps- or at least just visit the art museum at the top, snap photos of the "love" sign, take a walk down south street….If you're in the mood to go out, check out Manayunk- lots of fun places.

    Or you could skip all that and wear your pj's with the girls and just relax…and laugh. I wouldn't blame you a bit!

    Happy 40th!

  10. i love your voice, edie!
    have a wonderful time on your trip and happy birthday! when exactly is it…? i didn't realize you were a winter baby! 🙂

  11. ahhh 40 schmorty! I'm still older than you! Hope you have a blast with your friends! suggestions? you only turn 40 once…have the appletini!
    xoxo to you!

  12. i have GOT to make this… yumola!

    a very BIG hAppY BiRthdAy to you!
    how fun… enjoy your trip!
    sounds like a perfectly planned time.
    kiss Anthro for me while your there… oh my!

  13. I'm going to try the recipe tomorrow with vegetarian "beef" and "sausage" crumbles. Should be yummy. Thanks for the recipe.

  14. OH this looks YUMMY! It reminds me of what my Hungarian grandmother used to make…wow, this takes me back.

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