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LJWorld.com weblogs Meatless Mondays

Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Jambalasta

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Does the snow have you out of sorts? Make you want to hide in bed, only to come out for some warm nourishment — oatmeal, soup, tea?

This dinner is absolutely perfect for this particular Meatless Monday, provided you actually will yourself to the store if you don't have all the ingredients.

A cross between pasta and jambalaya, this meal will keep you warm tonight, that much is sure. The pasta and veggie mixture is warm and comforting and the addition of Cajun seasoning and hot sauce will heat you up from the inside out.

Happy Monday!

Jambalasta

4 tablespoons of flour

4 tablespoons of margarine (Earth Balance preferred)

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 small or medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tablespoon of Cajun or creole seasoning

1 tablespoon of hot sauce

2/3 cup of soy milk or regular milk

2 tablespoons of vegan or regular cream cheese

1 dash cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes

1 pound of whole wheat penne, cooked

4 vegan sausage links

Begin by making a roux: Melt butter in a large pot over low heat and add flour. Stir or whisk mixture constantly for about 15 minutes, until the mix is light brown and smells nutty.

Increase heat to medium and add celery, onion, and pepper and saute until softened. Add garlic and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes.

Add tomatoes, cajun seasoning, cayenne, and hot sauce and mix well. The tomatoes should “melt” so that there aren’t any big chunks.

Whisk in milk and cream cheese, allowing cream cheese to melt. The mixture will become thick and creamy. Stir in lemon juice and reduce heat to low.

Slice vegan sausage into rounds or half-moons, and cook in olive oil or melted Earth Balance until lightly browned.

Add cooked sausage to the pot, and serve over pasta.

Note: If you want to stretch the sauce out a bit to serve more people (or if you just like a thinner sauce) simply add about 2 ladles of the pasta cooking water.

— Recipe adapted from Alison Rohrer for www.madejustright.com.

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