Friday, October 15, 2010

Green Cider Smoothie

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It's that time of year again. Cider time! I've recently started drinking green smoothies, and it seemed like a good way to use some of that gigantic jug of cider I got at Sam's Club. This is a tasty smoothie, and no, it doesn't taste like spinach. It tastes like creamy cinnamon-spiced sweet apple cider. Mmmmmm. It's filling, too. Give it a whirl.

Kari's Green Cider Smoothie
Makes 2 cups
1 cup apple cider (100%, not from concentrate)
2 cups raw spinach
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 medium frozen banana

In blender, combine cider and spinach and blend. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Pour into tall glass.
Per 2-cup smoothie:
272 calories, 3 g fat, 109 mg sodium, 62 g total carb., 7 g fiber, 45 g sugars, 5 g protein
114% vitamin A, 51% vitamin C, 9% calcium, 15% iron (percent Daily Values based on 2000 calorie diet)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Simple Southwest Salad--Black Beans and Hominy

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This salad is light and fresh and bright with the simple flavors of lime, garlic, and cilantro. There's a nice contrast of textures between crisp sweet onion and bell pepper and the soft beans, hominy and tomato. The colors are pretty too.
Kari's Simple Southwest Salad--Black Beans and Hominy
makes about 6 cups

1 sweet onion, chopped
1 jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 (15.5 ounce) can white hominy, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 lime (juice from)
pinch salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Veggie Udon Soup

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Here's another favorite soup. This recipe is adapted from McDougall's Vegetable Udon Soup. You can find the McDougall recipe in his newsletter archives, December 2008. All of Dr. McDougall's newsletters have lowfat vegan recipes. Most are Mary McDougall's recipes.
Kari's Veggie Udon Soup -- serves 4 to 6
(adapted from McDougall)

8 cups vegetable broth, unsalted
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tsp minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin
1 portabella mushroom, black gills removed, sliced bite-size
6 white button mushrooms, sliced
1 carrot, peeled, sliced thin
3 lg heads baby bok choy, sliced
5 Napa cabbage leaves, sliced thin
3 (7-ounce) pkgs fresh precooked Udon noodles
6 ounced pressed tofu, cubed 1/2-inch pieces (optional)

In large pot, bring vegetable broth, soy sauce, ginger and garlic to a boil. Add onion, mushroom, carrots, bok choy, and cabbage. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes. Add Udon noodles and tofu cubes. Simmer 3 to 4 more minutes, separating noodles with a spoon as they cook. Serve.

Note: You can vary the mushrooms according to what you prefer or what's available. I often use shitake and oyster mushrooms. If fresh noodles aren't available, you can precook dry Udon or another noodle/pasta, drain, and then add to soup as directed. You can vary the vegetables according to your tastes and what's available. McDougall's version uses 1 bunch scallions instead of onion and adds 1 cup snow peas. It uses oyster and enoki mushrooms and calls for less greens (only 1 cup each) than I've used here. It also uses less Udon noodles (12 ounces).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Portuguese Kale Soup

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Portuguese Kale Soup is one of my favorites soups and a great way to use kale. Once upon a time, I'd make this soup using hot Italian sausage and slivered pepperoni. Now, I use a spice blend to get that peppery favor. I used a Morningstar Farms vegetarian Italian sausage link in this soup, but you can use anything you prefer or omit it altogether. There are many good vegan sausage recipes to be found on the internet. Just google "vegan sausage recipe." Typically the sausage recipes make four sausages, and you can store them in the freezer to have available later.

Kari's Portuguese Kale Soup

1 vegetarian or vegan sausage, sliced thin (optional)
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thin
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp Kari's Pepperoni Spice Blend (recipe follows)
6 cups chopped kale (packed)
6 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp Better Than Bouillon No Chicken flavor
5 medium red potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced thin
1 can (15.5 ounce) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
In Dutch oven sprayed with cooking spray, brown vegetarian sausage; remove and set aside.
Add onion to pan along with a few tablespoons of water. Saute about 8 minutes until translucent, adding more water as necessary.

Add celery and garlic; saute 5 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 teaspoons of pepperoni spice blend; cook 1 minute.

Add 6 cups water and bouillon; bring to simmer. Add kale; cover and simmer over medium-low 10 minutes.

Add potato; simmer 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Add kidney beans and sausage. Simmer 5 minutes until heated through. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Kari's Pepperoni Spice Blend (Salt Free)
makes scant 2 Tbsp

1 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground fennel seed
1/4 tsp turbinado sugar
1/8 tsp anise seed

Mix to combine. Store leftovers in airtight container.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pineapple-Apricot Chutney

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Kari's Pineapple-Apricot Chutney
Makes approx. 2 1/2 cups

A tangy fresh pineapple chutney with just a hint of *heat from cayenne.

Cooking spray
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/3 cup diced onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium pineapple, diced (about 3 cups) **
10 dried apricots, diced (about 1/3 cup)
2 Tbsp golden raisins
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp garam masala
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Spray medium nonstick saucepan with cooking spray; over medium heat, add mustard seed and cover. When seeds pop, add onion and garlic. Saute over medium til softened. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 or 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juices thicken. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and transfer to clean jar. Store refrigerated.

*For a hotter chutney, you can increase cayenne or add chopped chile peppers or dried red pepper flakes.
**I used the supersweet type of pineapple.

Per serving (1/20th of recipe): 57 calories, 0 fat, 62mg sodium, 1g fiber, 12g sugars, 0 protein, 24% daily value for vitamin C

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Plum Kooky Peanut Bars

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Kari's Plum Kooky Peanut Bars
12 bars

Great for lunchbox or snack or breakfast on the run.

1 cup oats
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp wheat germ
1 cup Rice Krispies (or other puffed crisp cereal)
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped prunes (about 14)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 8x8 glass pan with cooking spray or line with parchment.

Spread oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and wheat germ on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, til toasty. Transfer to large bowl. Add Rice Krispies, peanuts, raisins and prunes. Toss together.

In a small bowl or 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup, combine peanut butter, honey, turbinado sugar; microwave a minute or til bubbly. Add cocoa, water, vanilla and sea salt. Mix well.

Pour cocoa mixture over oat mixture and mix thoroughly until all moistened. Transfer to prepared pan and press firmly and evenly (placing a piece of parchment paper over mixture is helpful). Chill in refrigerator an hour or so.

Flip bar out onto cutting board and cut into 12 bars--cut in half, then cut each half in thirds, and cut each third in half. Wrap bars individually in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

Per Bar: 211 calories, 7g fat, 97mg sodium, 4g fiber, 35g carb, 17g sugars, 6g protein

Monday, July 19, 2010

Almond, Date, and Honey Bars

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Kari's Almond, Date, and Honey Bars
12 bars

Crunchy, chewy, and not too sweet. Great for lunchbox or snack or breakfast.

1 cup oats
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 Tbsp pepitas (raw pumpkin seed)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 cup Rice Krispies (or other crisp puffed cereal)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates (4 large medjool dates)
1/4 cup almond butter
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8x8 pan (glass works great) with cooking spray or line with parchment.

On a large rimmed baking sheet, spread oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, pepitas, and sesame seeds. Bake til toasty, 10 or 12 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. Add Rice Krispies, dates, and raisins. Toss together.

Combine almond butter, turbinado sugar, and honey in a microwave safe bowl or 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave 1 minute or until bubbly. Add salt and vanilla, and stir til well-combined. (You can also do this on stovetop in a small pan.)

Pour honey mixture over oats mixture and stir together until all ingredients are moistened. Transfer to prepared 8x8 pan. Press mixture firmly and evenly into pan. A piece of parchment paper over the mixture helps. Chill in refrigerator an hour or so.

Flip it out onto cutting board and cut into 12 even bars--cut once in half, then each half into thirds, then each third in half. Wrap bars individually in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.

Per bar: 207 calories, 8g fat, 96mg sodium, 31g carb, 3g fiber, 16g sugars, 5g protein

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, Chickpea Coconut Curry

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Kari's Sweet Potato, Cauliflower, Chickpea Coconut Curry
Serves 4-6

Sweet potato, cauliflower and chickpeas in a rich coconut gravy, not too spicy.

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup water
1/2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 sprig curry leaves (16-18 leaves)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced gingerroot
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 large tomato, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, red or green or combination
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Cook sweet potato cubes with 1/2 cup water in covered bowl in microwave 5 or 6 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add mustard seed, cover. When seeds stop popping, add onion and curry leaves. Cook and stir 1 minute.

Add garlic, ginger and jalapeno; cook and stir 1 minute.

Add tomato; cook 2 minutes until tomato starts to break down.

Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, and salt. Cook 2 minutes more.

Add bell pepper, cauliflower, and sweet potato with its cooking liquid. Stir well to coat vegetables; cover and cook on medium-high 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Add coconut milk and chickpeas. Stir well, cover, and simmer on low 25 minutes. Adjust seasoning, adding more salt as necessary.

Serve with flatbread or rice.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hummingbird Cake

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If you're looking for a rich-tasting dessert for those special days--birthdays, holidays, Thursdays--you might like this Hummingbird cake.

There are many versions of Hummingbird cake. The original recipe includes oil and eggs and nuts and a bazillion calories. This cake itself has no added oils or eggs, but contains walnuts. You can use your favorite frosting or eat it unfrosted. This simple vanilla frosting contains one tablespoon light margarine, which is 4.5 grams fat. You can switch that for a fattier margarine or substitute more yogurt or something else like fruit juice or soy milk. You can use cream cheese instead of margarine and yogurt. You can add coconut and walnuts to the frosting or sprinkle them on top. You could add cinnamon to the frosting, or use a different flavor for the vanilla extract, perhaps pineapple flavor or something citrus like lemon or orange. Whatever you like. I think Hummingbird cake typically has cream cheese frosting.

Kari's Hummingbird Cake

2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
8 Tbsp water

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon

2 mashed bananas (1 scant cup)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
1/2 Tbsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together flaxseed meal and water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flours, turbinado sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, combine bananas, pineapple, soy yogurt, and vanilla. Add flaxseed meal/water mixture and mix well.
Add wet mixture to dry mixture; stir until all moistened, but don't over-mix. Stir in walnuts.
Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool. Frost if desired.

1 Tbsp plain soy yogurt
1 Tbsp light Blue Bonnet margarine (or other)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups confectioners sugar

Beat yogurt and margarine together. Add vanilla, then add confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating well until smooth. Frost cake.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Is that Mulligatawny Soup?

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Mulligatawny is an Anglo-Indian soup. The name translated from Tamil, Millagu Thanni, means pepper water. There are numerous variations. I made this version using the pressure cooker, but you can make it in a regular pot. It is fairly spicy.

Kari's Mulligatawny Soup
serves 5-6

1/2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp urad dal (black gram skinned-split), rinsed and dried
1 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
3 large carrots, diced (1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
1 medium sweet potato, diced (approx 2 cups)
2 Tbsp Madras Curry Powder
1 Tbsp Sambal Oelek (more or less to taste)
4 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1/2 cup mango chutney
1/2 small cauliflower, chopped (approx 2 cups)
1 16-ounce can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
Cooked Basmati Rice

In pressure cooker, heat oil over medium. Add mustard and cumin seeds, cover the pan to prevent splatter, and cook just until seeds stop popping. Add urad dal; cook, stirring constantly, until golden. Add ginger and garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add onion, carrot, celery, and sweet potato. Add Sambal Oelek and curry powder. Cook and stir a couple minutes. Add 4 cups water and vegetable bouillon. Stir well. Secure lid on pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook 4 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest 1 minute, then use rapid release method to release pressure. Remove 1 cup of veggies with some broth to a separate container and mash, or puree in blender, then return it to the pot. Add chutney, cauliflower, and chickpeas. Simmer 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Add peas and cook a minute to heat through. Adjust seasonings, adding salt if necessary. Serve soup with rice, as desired.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Grilled "cheese" on Sourdough

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This sandwich is so very yummy. The cheese is a cashew cheddar from a recipe I found at Vegan Epicurean. I've made this "cheese" three times. It's melty just like real cheese and tastes great on sourdough bread. You will need raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and agar powder. You can change the spices, but so far I've followed the recipe as given.
Agar-agar is a sea vegetable by-product that is used like gelatin. Look for agar-agar powder in oriental markets. A packet of Telephone Brand agar-agar powder (from Thailand) is between .99 and $1.50 at the oriental markets locally. If you're unable to find it in your area, you can also buy different brands of agar-agar powder online.
This is what my loaf of "cheese" looks like. I slice it in six pieces and store in a plastic container in the refrigerator. It will last a week...IF you don't go on a grilled cheese binge. Heh.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jamaica Me Crazy Beans

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I had some dry Adzuki beans in the pantry that had been in there for a while, so I had to think up a way to use them. I wanted something different from a typical bean soup. I spotted Pickapeppa Sauce in the door of the fridge, and it sent me towards Jamaica. You could substitute other beans (black, red, black-eyed, kidney, pidgeon pea, etc.) for the Adzuki beans. You can also used canned beans. I didn't use the bean broth, but you could certainly do so. These beans are pretty mild, heat-wise. If you like things hot, you can use more cayenne or add fresh chile peppers. Scotch Bonnet peppers are typical in Jamaica. You could also use habenaro or serrano or jalapeno or whatever you prefer. You could also use tomatoes with chiles instead of plain tomatoes to turn up the heat a notch. Pickapeppa Sauce will also add a bit of heat (as well as tangy sweetness) to your beans.

Kari's Jamaica Me Crazy Beans (serves 4)
3 cups cooked Adzuki beans (from 1 cup dry)

Spice Mixture:
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/16 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup water
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
1 cup diced carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
salt, to taste
*Pickapeppa Sauce (optional)

Combine spices in small bowl and set aside.

In Dutch oven, saute onion, bell pepper, celery and carrot in 1/4 cup water for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; saute 2 more minutes. Add spice mix and cook 1-2 minutes to toast spices.

Add tomatoes and vegetable broth. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with Pickapeppa Sauce, if desired. Can be served with rice.

*Pickapeppa Sauce is a Jamaican condiment which contains tomatoes, onions, sugar, cane vinegar, mangoes, raisins, garlic, salt, peppers, thyme, and cloves. It comes in a small 5 ounce bottle with a parrot on the label.
Along with the beans, I served homemade bread. Isn't it pretty?

100% Whole Grain Brown Rice Bread

My very first loaf of artisan-style bread! Eldest daughter really liked it. I think maybe the dough could use a little sweetener.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blueberry Snack Cake

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Not the best picture on the plate. The flash wouldn't work. It worked for the pan, though. Weird.

This cake is moist and loaded with blueberries. It's not too sweet. You could even eat it for breakfast. (I did this morning.) I think a cherry version would be nice, too.

Kari's Blueberry Snack Cake

6 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal

1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
1/2 cup So Delicious brand coconut milk beverage (or other non-dairy milk)
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

2 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray 9x9 pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine water and flaxseed meal and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine pastry flour, oat bran, wheat germ, unbleached flour, turbinado sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

Combine mashed banana, yogurt, milk, brown rice syrup, and vanilla. Add flaxseed mixture to banana mixture. Stir with fork or whisk until well combined and smooth. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture. Stir until flour is moistened. Fold in blueberries. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

Serves 16.
Per serving: 128 calories, 1g fat, 150 mg sodium, 3g fiber, 3g protein

Friday, February 26, 2010

Spicy Mushroom Tofu

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Kari's Spicy Mushroom Tofu
(inspired by *Ma Po Tofu)

Sauce Mix:

2 Tbsp Tamari
1 Tbsp Blackbean sauce with garlic (Kikkoman brand)
1 Tbsp Shao Xing cooking wine
1 Tbsp Turbinado sugar
1/2 Tbsp Chili garlic sauce

12 ounce X-firm Tofu, cubed

1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin
4 or 5 large fresh Shitaki mushrooms, stems removed, sliced thin
1 1/4 cup mushroom broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 T oil
1 Tbsp minced gingerroot
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small dried red chiles

Bring a pan of water to boil. Add tofu and simmer 4 or 5 minutes. Drain well.

While tofu is cooking, mix sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix cornstarch and water in another small bowl. Gather remaining ingredients.

Heat wok. Add oil and swirl to coat wok. Add ginger, garlic and dry chiles. Stir fry 20 or 30 seconds. One at a time, add carrot, mushrooms and green onions. Stir fry til tender crisp about 2 minutes. Add sauce mix and stir fry 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in cornstarch-water mixture. Cook until broth thickens. Add tofu cubes and stir gently to coat. Simmer a few minutes then add peas. Stir to warm through. Serve immediately with rice.

This dish is mildly spicy. For a hotter dish increase chiles and/or chili sauce. You could also use chile oil instead of regular oil or add ground chile pepper. *Ma Po Tofu also includes Szechuan (Sichuan) pepper.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Vegetarian Goulash

Almost everyone has a recipe for something they call goulash. I've been making variations on this version for 30 years. This version of goulash does not contain meat, but uses a small amount of veggie burger crumbles (MorningStar Farms or Boca brand). If you shun faux meat, you can just omit it. Additionally, you can substitute vegetable bouillon for the beef flavor. For a spicier version, add a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes with the other spices. Many people use macaroni in their goulash. I prefer medium shells because they hold the goodies better.

Kari's Goulash
serves 4 to 6

8 ounces medium shell pasta
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup veggie burger crumbles
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried sweet basil
2 tsp parsley flakes
15-ounce can stewed tomatoes
8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon No Beef flavor
15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup frozen corn kernals

Cook pasta al dente as directed on package. Drain in colander.

While pasta is cooking, saute onion and green pepper in a nonstick skillet with a little water. When veggies soften, add burger crumbles and spices. Cook and stir together to mix flavors. Remove from heat.

Transfer onion mixture to the empty pasta pan and add stewed tomatoes, breaking up any very large pieces. Add tomato sauce, water, and bouillon. Season with black pepper. Bring to a simmer. Return drained pasta to the pot along with the kidney beans. Stir together and simmer a couple minutes. Stir in corn and cook a couple more minutes to heat through. Serve.