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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

Summer in some areas of the country is so brief you won't want to spend hours cooking in the kitchen and miss outdoor fun activities with friends or family. Instead, "play" outside, soak up the vitamin D, and don't give a thought to dinner preps! Really? Forget about dinner? What's up with that? Doesn't everybody work up a humongous appetite after swimming or a vigorous game of volleyball?

No doubt, appetites will be in full swing when dinnertime arrives, but don't get into a frenzy! Here's an easy preparation for an irresistibly delicious dish that will have your family sitting at the table in 30 minutes.

The trick is to have this short list of ingredients on hand or prepare the sauce ahead. Pantry items like canned lima beans, Kalamata olives, and capers bring the recipe to life by contributing zesty, pungent flavors that make a simple tomato sauce stand apart. You'll also notice that summer-grown tomatoes are so much tastier than tomatoes available during the winter season, contributing a more juicy, sweeter flavor to the dish.

As soon as you start the sauce cooking, begin heating the water for pasta of your choice. Because this pasta sauce is so easy, you'll even have time to assemble a hearty tossed salad to round out the meal.

And, by the way, you won't even mind the cleanup. With the water-sauté method of cooking, you won't be battling greasy dishes, pots, pans, or a greasy sink either. Cleanup is quick, because there's nothing greasy to cling to the pots or the sink.

Limas with Tomato Sauce Over Pasta


Yield: 4 servings

    7 to 8 medium tomatoes, chopped
    1 large onion, cut in half vertically and sliced into thin half moons
    1/4 cup (60 ml) water

    3/4 to 1 pound (340g to 453g) pasta of your choice

    1 (15-to 20-ounce, 424g to 567g) can giant lima beans, rinsed and drained
    1/2 cup (120 ml) Kalamata olives
    2 tablespoons drained capers
    1 teaspoon dried tarragon
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    Salt and pepper

    1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped parsley, for garnish
    1/4 cup (60 ml) coarsely ground walnuts, for garnish

  1. Put tomatoes, onions, and water into a large, deep skillet. Cook and stir over high heat for about 3 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are broken down and the onions are softened. Add 1 or more tablespoons of water as needed to prevent burning.
  2. Start heating the water for the pasta and follow the manufacturer's cooking directions.
  3. Add the lima beans, kalamata olives, capers, tarragon, and oregano to the tomatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  4. Divide the cooked pasta between the four dishes and ladle the sauce and limas over the pasta. Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and ground walnuts.

Note: If you can't find canned giant limas in your grocery story, look for them in Greek or Middle Eastern markets or cook 1/2 pound (226g) frozen baby limas and add them to the sauce.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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