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Recipes: microwave vegetarian spaghetti

Looks good enough to eat, doesn't it?
Looks good enough to eat, doesn't it?
allrecipes.com

It has been said there are a wealth of good reasons for becoming a vegetarian, but there are no bad reasons for doing so.

Some of the health reasons noted for becoming a vegetarian include, but are not limited to:

  • All the nutrients necessary for optimal human functioning can be obtained from plant food.
  • Plants do not contain cholesterol.
  • Meat is deficient in carbohydrates, particularly the starches which are so essential to proper health.
  • Barring the b-complex, meat is mostly deficient in vitamins.
  • Because they are higher on the food chain, animal foods contain much higher concentrations of agricultural chemicals than plant food, including pesticides, herbicides, etc.
  • There are over 20,000 different drugs – sterols, antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary drugs – given to livestock animals. When we consume animal foods, we also consume those drugs. The dangers of the secondary consumption of antibiotics are well-documented.

These are just a few of the reasons people give for becoming vegetarians. For those of you who are, or are considering giving it a try, here is a recipe for microwave vegetarian spaghetti.Ingredients:

  • 4 cups ¼-inch slices zucchini (about 1 pound)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 6 cups hot cooked spaghetti
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Mix zucchini and tomatoes (with liquid). Break up tomatoes with fork.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients except spaghetti and cheeses in 3-quart casserole.
  3. Cover tightly and microwave on high (100%) 8 minutes; stir.
  4. Cover and microwave until zucchini is tender and mixture is bubbly, 8 – 12 minutes longer.
  5. Serve sauce over hot spaghetti; sprinkle with cheeses.

Makes 6 servings

Mushroom slices
Mushroom slices fotosearch

Mushroom slices

These mushroom slices add to the flavor and consistency of this delicious vegetarian spaghetti. Do not go out in your back yard, however, and just pull up mushrooms to use for this recipe as that could mean the end of your cooking career.

chopped onion
chopped onion fotosearch

chopped onion

If you ever need to cry, grab yourself an onion, peel a little of it and get to chopping. Or, you could just watch the movie Beaches for the 322nd time - whichever works best for you. Anyway, if you do the onion thing, you can add it to your vegetarian spaghetti.

Whole tomatoes
Whole tomatoes fotosearch

Whole tomatoes

When using whole tomatoes, you need to consider the size you select. The beefsteak tomatoes like the ones my dad used to plant would likely not be appropriate for this recipe. There may not be any room left for the rest of the ingredients.

Parsley flakes
Parsley flakes fotosearch

Parsley flakes

When finely ground like this, parsley works well in recipes. You would not want to put it in the recipe the same way in which you use it to add color to a plate when hosting a dinner. You can buy these already in flakes.

Oregano leaves
Oregano leaves fotosearch

Oregano leaves

When I was an assistant principal, I once had a student pack a bunch of oregano leaves in some sandwich bags to try to pass them off as bags of marijuana. She didn't earn very much money, but she did get the rest of the year at home.

Zucchini & noodles
Zucchini & noodles fotosearch

Zucchini & noodles

Zucchini is really good for your health. Whenever you can add it to one of your recipes, it is a good idea. If you can teach your kids to eat zucchini while they are young, they will likely continue to eat it as an adult.