Vegetarian “Meat” Sauce

Comfort food. You can’t really say no. It’s what I imagine as your parents or grandparents making for you and then pinching your cheek as a congratulations for cleaning your plate even when you’re 30 years old.

This will be one of the first of many installations in my “comfort food redone” series. It’s good food but even better. Now let’s get on with it.

Pasta with meat sauce. Probably one of the 5 things on the list of what a picky kid will eat.

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I participate in Meatless Monday, and I have a vegetarian diet several days a week-I listen to my body and eat what’ll make me feel good. Today being one of those days, I looked up vegetarian mincemeat recipes to find something to make for lunch. I found recipes using packaged vegetarian sausages and ground meat-not what I wanted. I try to stay away from processed foods with ingredients I don’t know.

So I thought of a food that had the texture and and seasoning capability of ground meat. And I turned to a case of kidney beans. Beans are used in place of meat in burgers all the time, so why not in meat sauce?

After smashing and sautéing the beans, I came up with something that looked pretty good to me.

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you can probably put this in a taco shell too!

All that was left to add some tomato sauce and serve it with some whole wheat pasta.

If it tricked my sister, a girl who picks the beans out of rice and beans, I give this dish a passing grade.

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(I apologize for the vagueness in seasoning measurements. When my mom taught me to cook, she told me to add the amount of seasonings that felt right. If you do need a specific measurement, a dash= a little more than 1/4 tsp. Adjust to your own taste. And add any seasonings that you would normally season protein with!)

Vegetarian “Meat” Sauce

makes one generous serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a can of kidney beans
  • 1/4 an onion, chopped
  • 1/4 a green bell pepper, chopped
  • generous dash of pepper
  • generous dash of seasoning salt
  • generous dash of dried basil
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup tomato sauce (depending on how thick you want your sauce to be)

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain 1/2 a can of kidney of kidney beans. Place them into a bowl, and smash them, allowing some large chunks still to be present. Add all the spices and combine.
  2. Add the tablespoon of oil to a hot skillet, and once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and peppers and sauté them for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the mashed kidney beans and saute for at least 5 minutes, or until the beans have color.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and stir.
  5. Serve over any pasta.

Buon appetito!

Also, comment any food you want to see healthily redone below!