I never heard of Goulash before I met my husband. This is one of the first things he ever cooked for me. However that was way before we even considered becoming vegetarian. I first altered his recipe to add more flavor and fresh veggies since there were none. It has now been veganized and it still brings back those early memories of our relationship. It’s amazing to look back and see how much we have accomplished, been through, and changed almost 4 years ago now. We have done more these past few years than most couples do in 10 years. Everyone thought we were moving too fast. No one understood what we were doing or why. It was tough since I was the outsider and the lack of trust his family had for me made things worse. Thankfully they got over that and have gotten to know me better. Having to explain your relationship to people is exhausting. We simply told them that we knew what we wanted so there was no reason to wait any longer. That pretty much explains our marriage too. It works for us. The reason it works is due to our open line of communication. You can’t have a successful relationship without it. Nothing is off-limits for me. I don’t believe keeping secrets or withholding the truth helps any situation and no one can read minds. Speaking up and making sure you are on the same page is important.
Wow, Goulash to relationship advice in 3 seconds. My apologies for that intense derailment. Back to the topic, the first time I veganized this recipe I used prepared vegan ground meat. I know that those processed foods aren’t the best for you so I wanted to try making this with straight tofu. Crumbled up tempeh or ground seitan would probably be just as good. For a different texture I decided to freeze the tofu which means this took two days to prepare. I just love to make things more difficult than they have to be. I make up for difficulty of freezing tofu by making this a one pot meal though. It makes clean up less stressful. I help where I can. Okay no more talking, here is the recipe.
Ingredients (Serves 6):
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu
- 1 box whole grain elbow pasta (I used Barilla)
- 2- 15 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, Italian style or plain (I used Italian style)
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- half a package of Daiya shredded mozzarella
- The day before: press the tofu making sure most of the water is out. Place in an air-tight container and freeze overnight. Pull out of the freezer in the morning and thaw all day. Squeeze out any excess liquid. Crumble tofu and set aside.
- Cook pasta as directed. Leave pasta in colander to drain while you finish cooking.
- In same pot you used to cook pasta add oil and tofu at the same time, cooking over medium heat and stirring constantly. Cook until tofu begins to brown. If the tofu begins to stick add a little bit of water to loosen it.
- Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook until onion becomes translucent.
- Add seasoning, diced tomatoes, and paste. Stir to combine and cook until heated through. If you are using plain diced tomatoes I would increase the seasoning measurements.
- Add drained pasta and mozzarella. Cook until Daiya has melted.
- Serve with some rolls or yummy homemade garlic bread. We topped ours with some vegan parmesan. Enjoy!