Cookbook Realization + Italian Goulash

Good news friends! I can walk this morning! Hooray! It's a Friday miracle! :)

I'm exaggerating. Sort of.

I'm still having trouble walking.

I'm so happy that it's Friday and that the weekend is just a few hours away. Shaun and I don't have much planned aside from a 5K walk down the Jersey Shore on Sunday morning. I love having open weekends!

So today I want to share a new recipe that I tried earlier this week. I have a pretty large cookbook collection and admitedly, many of them do not get much love. Not because they aren't fabulous, but because there is only so much time for meal planning!

This is just a sampling of the cookbooks I received this past Christmas

So I often overlook a lot of them, knowing that someday I will have the time to go through them and pick out recipes to try. Then I realized that someday should be now! There may be my next favorite recipe just sitting untouched on my bookshelf. So my new plan is to make an effort to really make a go of it with all of my cookbooks. I'm not going to get overwhelmed and try to make a new recipe from each one every night, but instead, pick a new recipe from a different book each week. What do you think? How do you handle cookbook overload?

In the spirit of working with new cookbooks, I broke out a book that I got at my bridal shower: Jamie and Bobby Deen's Y'all Come Eat. My mom, sister and aunt had gone to their book signing and even got us a signed copy, which is so sweet! And I love all the Deen's, so I knew this one would be a winner. Some of the recipes even seem significantly lighter than Mama Deen's butter-filled ones (not that there's anything wrong with that).

I found Bobby's Goulash and knew I had to give it a try. It not only looked easy and delicious, but also...dare I say it...healthy? Or adaptable to be made healthy at least. This recipe made a big batch that we had all week. It was a perfect Sunday dinner...and weekday lunch, and post-gym dinner on Wednesday. I changed the name of the recipe along with a few tweaks because, well...there is nothing about this recipe that says traditional goulash (which is a heavenly beef stew-type dish). It's really more of an Italian pasta dish. I don't mind. It's fabulous regardless of what you call it.

Italian Goulash
*Adapted from Y'All Come Eat
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey breast
1 large onion, diced
1 29oz can diced tomatoes
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 C uncooked (!) whole wheat elbow macaroni
kosher salt
pepper
olive oil

In a large pot/stock pot, heat a bit of oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, about 10 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Once cooked through, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, soy sauce, basil, oregano, and garlic. Stir together, reduce the heat to simmer and cover for 20 minutes. Stir in the uncooked elbows, recover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes and serve.

This dish was seriously SO good and SO easy! Shaun has already asked me to make it again! The key to this entire recipe? The soy sauce. It just gives an extra depth of flavor that is unbeatable in this dish. I highly recommend giving it a try today! Oh and the best part is that you can absolutely add vegetables to this dish as well! Next time I plan to add some spinach or even asparagus.

So there you have it. A dish worthy of Sunday dinner, and I hope that you try it and like it as much as we did! So what are your plans for the weekend?