My vegetarian version of goulash uses cooked lentils to replace the beef. The taste and texture were nearly the same as when my grandmother used to make me this dish with beef.
I didn't really follow a recipe, so I'll let you in on the ingredients and my best estimates for amounts, after that you are on your own, season it to your liking (just remember that it should not have a tomato-y taste, the paprika-ish taste should stand out). I used lentils that I had cooked in the crock pot with a bay leaf. If you are using canned lentils, or have cooked them unseasoned, I would add a bay leaf to the tomato sauce.
Vegetarian Hungarian Goulash
3/4 of a one lb. bag of elbow macaroni
3-4 cups of cooked lentils
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 Tbs sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried marjoram
a pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain and set aside. In a deep skillet heat 2 Tbs EVOO over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until translucent and tender. Mix in dried spices and mix around skillet to heat. Add in tomatoes and lentils, stirring to combine vegetables and spices. Next stir in 2 large dollops of sour cream, and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour drained macaroni into skillet and mix to combine macaroni with sauce.
We had our goulash with some apple slices on the side. This was a very kid friendly dish. Both girls ate tons of goulash (kind of takes you back to those grade school cafeteria days). So, it looks like goulash is going to make it into frequent rotation here.
Now that the holidays are over we have gotten back into our normal routine, with school, yoga, dance class, etc. So, we're back to our busy Tuesday evenings. I have some "No Chicken" noodle soup in the crock pot as I type. Rob and the girls will be eating noodle soup before dance class. I, on the other hand, will be dining at El Mundo with some of my girlfriends tonight. Lucky me!! Aren't I such a good mom and wife for still taking the time to prepare a healthy meal for my family, even when I can't share in it!!?? (Everyone needs to give themselves a little pat on the back now and again you know).