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Quick Dinner Recipe: Army SOS
WLC, Paleo, Gluten & Dairy-Free

Posted by DishragDiarist on September 26, 2012 in Main Dishes/ Meals, Recipes, Whole Life Challenge with 7 Comments


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This dinner came out so delicious last night, it cut in line in front of the next few posts I had planned. It came together so quickly and easily, too!

Army SOS is a creamy ground beef dish that supposedly got its name from being a military chow staple. I took my version and made it Real-Food-ified and gluten- and dairy-free. It’s even better than the original! (I do wish I’d measured better as I was making it. I tried to estimate for the recipe below… I’m sure it will come out fiiiiinnnne…)

Army SOS

*1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
*1/2 large onion, diced
*1 generous tsp. arrowroot powder or coconut flour (See note below.)
*3/4 – 1 tsp. sea salt (to taste)
*3/4 – 1 tsp. garlic powder (to taste)
*3/4 – 1 tsp. onion powder (to taste)
*1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
*6 shakes fish sauce
*Splash apple cider vinegar
*1-3/4 cups coconut milk

*1 head cauliflower for serving (See below.)

Note: There are discrepancies as to whether or not arrowroot is Whole Life Challenge-legal. Most sources say yes. If you feel uncomfortable, opt for the coconut flour.

Add a generous tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for a minute before adding in the ground beef. Break up the ground beef while browning.

Evenly sprinkle the ground beef with the arrowroot or coconut flour, mixing well. Sprinkle on the salt, garlic powder and onion powder (and cayenne, if using) and then add the fish sauce and vinegar. After mixing for about a minute or so remembering to scrape the bottom, add about a cup of the coconut milk.

When that coconut milk is incorporated, add in the rest, about 1/2 cup or so at a time. Keep the heat at such a level that the mixture stays at a soft simmer. It should begin to thicken a bit. When it’s thickened to your liking, it’s done!

Serve over steamed or mashed cauliflower.

To steam cauliflower: Set a large stockpot with a few inches of water to boil. Meanwhile cut/ break the cauliflower head into florets. (I actually BROKE my knife – right in half – doing this last night. Crazy, right?) Place florets in a steamer basket or a fine mesh stainless steel colander. Once the water is boiling, place the steamer basket or colander over the boiling water and cover with the stockpot lid. Steam until desired consistency, usually between five and ten minutes. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Nutrition-boosting tip: This meal is so flavorful, it’d be a great one to sneak some organ meat into. If your family is new to offal, replace no more than 1/4 lb. of the ground beef with ground liver. If you choose ground heart, which is more mild, you can use a tad more.

This post is a part of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday.

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  1. MrsBullSeptember 26, 2012 - 9:42 am #1

    So I believe the original of this is made with mashed potatoes, no? And more gravy like, correct? If so, my mom used to make this and we called it Gravy Train because it looked like Gravy Train dog food. Well, it was delish…so in short…I’m definietly making this soon. <3

  2. DishragDiaristSeptember 26, 2012 - 10:29 am #2

    I *think* the traditional Army version was served over toast or biscuits. But I think there are a number of creamy-beef-over-carb variations. Let me know how it turns out, and if it looks like pet food. :)

  3. DishragDiaristOctober 2, 2012 - 10:03 am #3

    Yesterday I served the leftovers over mashed cauliflower. Ah. Maze. Ing. I think I’ll have to edit the post to suggest.

  4. RachelNovember 17, 2012 - 4:41 pm #4

    Hey, I decided to throw this together tonight and wondering if you drained the beef after browning before adding the spices? I usually will drain off some of the grease, but now I’m thinking I should leave it for this? Thanks!

  5. DishragDiaristNovember 19, 2012 - 7:01 am #5

    Hi, Rachel! I’m sorry I’m late getting back to you, I’m sure you figured it out. I typically do not drain the meat. I find the farmer’s ground beef to be pretty lean, and the fat + the flour or arrowroot are what would aid in the thickening.

  6. Stephanie BullmanNovember 27, 2012 - 7:15 pm #6

    sooo…I finally made this. It was sooooo good. I put mine over leftover mashed turnips from last night and it was ama-za-zing! I’m going to share this on fb right now!

  7. Shari McConnellFebruary 10, 2013 - 1:28 pm #7

    I loved this and used the reduction sauce on chicken the next night. It was delicious!

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