My Dad used to make a great goulash when I was a kid. It was a hearty dish, and we liked to eat it with buttered bread. It seemed to be one of those foods that always tasted better the next day.
Growing up, no one was vegan or vegetarian in my household. But we did get exposed to some "healthy stuff" at an early age. We always had whole wheat bread while everyone else had the "good" soft white stuff. My mom would insist on buying that tasteless shredded wheat cereal while we would beg for that sugary stuff we saw on tv (she caved once in a while). She would also buy diet soda, which we really didn't like, though I do remember my brother stirring 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar in a glass of it one time.
Well, I have to thank my Mom, because regardless of all the times we scarfed down candy at every possible chance, those early exposures to whole wheat bread, shredded wheat and stuff with no preservatives, made a difference on my choices today (thanks Mom).
So now, back to the Lentil Goulash! My version is totally vegan and something my Dad would probably like, but not prefer over his own.
1 large yellow sweet onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 and 1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 TBS v Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 cups black or brown lentils, rinsed
1 28oz container of whole tomatoes (with juice), chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
1 and 1/2 cups of water
8oz elbow pasta, cooked al dente
In large stock pot, heat olive oil over med heat. Add onion, celery and green pepper, salt and pepper. Cook until slightly browned (about 10 or 15 minutes). Add oregano, garlic and paprika. Saute for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add lentil and stir to coat well. Add cayenne pepper now if using.
Add chopped tomatoes, ketchup and water (and brown sugar if using). Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes, checking occasionally for water level.
Test lentils, they should keep their shape, but be slightly tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cooked elbow noodles. Salt and pepper to taste.
Tip: Organic Ketchup does not have high fructose corn syrup