MAIN DISHES PASTA

SWEET BASIL MUSTARD MACARONI

SWEET BASIL MUSTARD MACARONI WITH TOMATO, VEGGIE, BEAN SAUCE

Seasoned with garlic, fennel and basil! Fat-free!

Serves 4 large or 6 small servings

28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes including liquid

16 oz. bag froz. soup vegetables or froz. mixed vegetables

15 oz. can dark red kidney beans

1/2 t. garlic powder

2 t. finely ground fennel seed

1 t. dried basil

1/2 t. salt or to taste

freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. pkg. dried elbow macaroni, cooked in lots of sufficiently salted boiling water till tender, drain well, rinse under cold water and drain again

1/2 c. prepared yellow mustard

1 t. salt

lots of fresh cracked pepper

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. onion powder

1 t. dried basil

1 t. dried tarragon

In large saucepan combine tomatoes, frozen veggies, beans, garlic powder, ground fennel and basil. Stir well and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, till pasta is done.

Place drained and rinsed pasta back into pot.

Add mustard,  salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, basil and tarragon. toss to coat macaroni evenly with mustard and spices.

When ready to serve. Spoon a little macaroni into bottoms of soup bowls and top with the tomato, veggie, bean sauce. Serve.

Notes: After winter ends and I’ve gained the usual 5-10 pounds through reduced physical activity and increased intake of foods with a higher fat content, I Spring forward in warmer weather by essentially going fat-free until my weight and fitness levels stabilize. The weight gain and higher fat consumption in the winter months is common to most mammals so I don’t groan over it.

The current recipe is one I use often with different variations of vegetables, pastas and rices. It’s easy, quick and the savory levels are high enough to sustain this common dish absent the added fat.

The mustard, herb macaroni is good enough to eat alone with a little applesauce. It possesses some elements of mac and cheese.

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