Monday, February 22, 2010

Vegan Bean Goulash

New vegetarians are often intimidated by the "weird" ingredients found in so many recipes. Things like agar agar, tempeh, seaweed, even agave can be off-putting to omni's because they are unfamiliar. I am often asked if it's possible to be vegetarian without eating "weird" or hard to find ingredients.

Of course the answer is a resounding yes. But I remember the difficulties I faced when I first became vegetarian. Most of the cookbooks I could find back then contained recipes calling for "weird" ingredients like brewer's yeast ( not to be confused with nutritional yeast), soy flour, carob, and TVP granules. Everything was brown and vile tasting. Bland brown rice and TVP casseroles appeared in nearly every cookbook. The few recipes with any flavor were Asian or Mexican.

As time went on available recipes called for more and more highly processed ingredients. Soy "cheeze", mock "chicken", and " Tofurky" are a real turn-off to me. As is "vegan beefy" ( read TVP) anything. I wasn't giving up unhealthy meat in order to replace it with unhealthy, highly processed imitation food.

 Judging from my email, many new and aspiring vegetarians have trouble sticking with it because they are frustrated with the lack of recipes for "normal" food. While we've come a long way since the 1970's, there is still a dearth of whole food vegetarian recipes.
 Fortunately, Asian and Mexican recipes still fill vegetarian cookbooks. But whole foods vegetarian recipes are still rare for those of us who miss the flavors of our traditional European ancestry. So, per a request, today I am sharing my goulash recipe.

I made this with leftover cooked beans , but you can sub canned beans if you use them. I used home canned tomatoes, but I wrote the recipe for store bought, since that is what most people use. The caraway seeds in this are a traditional flavor, but they also help to prevent the unpleasant gastric effect that beans have on some people. This recipe serves 6, feel free to cut it in half if needed. To increase nutrition I serve it over spaghetti squash rather than noodles. The flavors really complement each other. Figure on 1/2 of a spaghetti squash per person.  The recipe below is vegan, if you are vegetarian, serve with a tsp. of sour cream on top. This one makes my taste buds sing!

Vegan Bean Goulash

3 spaghetti squash, cooked ( directions below)
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 T. olive oil
2 c. vegetable broth
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c. cooked kidney beans
2 1/2 c. cooked great northern beans
1 organic potato, skin on, diced
2 T. sweet hungarian paprika
1/8 tsp. basil
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. caraway seeds

To cook spaghetti squash:
Preheat oven to 375, cut squash in half, scoop out seeds. Place cut side down on oiled baking sheet and bake 30-40 min. till tender. Cool. Scrape with fork to remove squash strands.

Sweat onion and red pepper in oil 10 min. till tender. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 min. till potato is tender and goulash has thickened a little. Serve over spaghetti squash.

This is a great meal to curl up in front of the Olympics with ;-) It's also much easier to get my workout done with the inspiring athletes to watch while I'm doing it.


Fayinagirl (means Free One) February 22, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

Oh my! That looks wonderful!

You are so right about "weird" ingredients being off-putting to those who are unfamiliar with them. A friend of mine is trying to eat better and honestly doesn't know what to do with a number of the more exotic ingredients. Simplicity is key to success in healthy eating.

Janet, maybe you need to write a recipe book full of simple and delicious vegetarian foods. =)

Vegan Epicurean February 22, 2010 at 1:38 PM  


I remember those days when I read vegan recipes and didn't know what half the ingredients were. Now it all seems completely normal (I wonder what that means).

I love using beans in place of meat in recipes too. You can't go wrong with beans. I wish my hubby liked beans more than seitan.

Thanks for the goulash inspiration. I can't remember the last time I had goulash. What a perfect cold weather dish.

talk to you soon,

janet February 22, 2010 at 1:57 PM  

Julie Lynn, I agree, simplicity is key, especially for newbies. I must admit I have thought about writing a simple cookbook, maybe next year when the kids are done with high school.
Thankyou so much for the award, sweetie, you know how highly I think of you, I am so honored!

Alicia, lol, I know so many of the "odd" ingredients are normal now, but I remember how off-putting they were when I was a newbie. We do tend to be creatures of habit sometimes and often we like to change only a little at a time.
We eat a lot of beans because I like to eat as many whole foods as possible. and I love them ;-)

Claudia February 22, 2010 at 2:29 PM  

Between Alice Waters and Moosewood Restaurant, things seem to be getting easier. I am not a vegetarian at all but I do eat veggie at least twice a week and fish at least once. Simplicity - and in seaon helps.

janet February 22, 2010 at 3:23 PM  

Claudia, you are right,things are getting better and easier. And simple is always best, especially when you start with good ingredients. In season is the ideal, but I must admit I don't always manage this.

Tasty Eats At Home February 23, 2010 at 4:59 PM  

See, THIS is my kind of vegetarian cooking. I much prefer eating whole ingredients to the processed proteins and mock meats. I'm not a vegetarian, but I incorporate a lot of veggie dishes in our diet. I feel that meals like this are much better! I also love that you used spaghetti squash - now it's gluten-free! Yippee!

wishful nals February 24, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

looks good! thank you for sharing :)

gadork April 27, 2010 at 9:23 AM  

That looks amazing, I will be trying this version soon! As a Hungarian, I went for the traditional version I am used to from childhood for yesterday's dinner:

Post a Comment


A quick note

All photos, and writing on this blog are copyright protected. If you use any of my material for noncommercial use, you must give credit to meatlessmama and link to this blog. No use for commercial purposes without my permission.

Please comment on my blog, I enjoy hearing from you.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP