Middle Eastern Beef Goulash

Last nights initial dinner plan was a homemade chicken noodle soup… and then the sun was shinning and it was close to 50 degrees outside.  During a normal February day in Ohio it would be gloomy, snowy, and freezing outside, aka soup weather.  Not so much the case for today (which I am so okay with!). Chicken noodle soup, will just have to wait.

Instead, I was really in the mood for some home cooked Arabic food.  This is the middle eastern version of goulash, and its so so yummy.  It can be made with ground beef or with a feta cheese blend.  This is one of grandma’s recipes, it was my first time making it and she will be pleased to know that it turned out delicious!

Enjoy 🙂


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package defrosted philo dough (usually found in frozen food section)
  • 1 cup butter (or margarine) melted


1.  Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Heat oil in pan.  Add onion.  Once onions are golden yellow, add ground beef.  Cook ground beef until completely browned, drain any excess fat.  Season ground beef with salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Melt 1 cup of butter.  Brush 13 x 9 baking dish liberally with butter.  Cut philo dough to fit baking dish (I had to cut mine in half).  Begin layering philo dough one sheet at a time.  Between every 3-4 layers, brush liberally with butter. Continue until 1/2 way through phil dough sheets.


4.  Once half way through philo dough sheets, add cooked ground beef evenly. Continue layering philo dough sheets, still adding butter between every 3-4 sheets.  Once last sheet has been placed, section with knife into sizes that you’d like to serve.  Place final layer of butter.

5.  Bake in oven, uncovered for 45 minutes.  For first 20 minutes place on low rack, during remaining time place in middle rack of oven.



So this recipe by no means belongs in the all-american meal category….in case you didn’t notice when you read the title and had trouble pronouncing it.  This is an Arabic dish that my mom made us quite regularly growing up and it’s delicious.  It’s something so simple and so comforting that brings me right back to being at home.

Molokhia (pronounced mulukhyia) is a green leafy plant and is prepared by finely chopping the leaves and cooking it in a chicken broth with some garlic.  No, I don’t have my own little molokhia garden growing in the back – however, most arabic stores sell this in the frozen food section.  Here’s what the package looks like:


As far as the nutrition facts go, 1/2 cup is 20 calories, it has 0.3 grams of fat, 3.1 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.3 grams of proteins.  It’s traditionally served over rice and/or some pita breads that’s made crunchy in the oven!  The consistency might seem a little strange to some – I guess some people might describe it as “slimy?”  But I promise it’s not a gross slime 🙂


  • 1 package of Molokhia
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic


1. Put 4 cups of water in pot.  Add 2 bouillon cubes.  Bring to boil. (This part is actually the lazy way out…you’re supposed to boil chicken and use the stock from the chicken instead of the water and cubes)

2. Reduce heat to medium-high.  Add frozen package of Molokhia and salt.  NEVER bring to a boil, leaves and water will separate.

3.  Once hot, place 1 teaspoon of margarine in separate, small pan. Add garlic and cook until golden yellow color.  Now add garlic to soup.

4.  Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

Okra with rice

Tonight for dinner I made an Egyptian meal, it’s another recipe that I got from Grandma while I was visiting Dallas. Its delicious and fairly easy to make! We also make this same dish with chopped spinach, green beans, or green peas.



  • I lb beef stew cubes
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • Water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 package of cut okra (from the frozen vegetables section)
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  1. Place 1 tablepsoon margarine in medium-sized pan.  Add onions and cook until a golden yellow color.

  2. Add beef cubes.  Once beef is browned, add 1 can of tomato sauce.  Now fill up empty tomato sauce can with water and add to beef and tomato sauce mixture.
  3. Bring to boil and allow meat to fully cook.  (About 15 minutes, for smaller pieces of beef).
  4. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice, and orka.  Bring to boil.  Allow to boil for 10 minutes.  Then lower heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

  5. Serve over rice.  Enjoy!!