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 Serves: Two hungry people for two nights in a row (or four people for one night)

One 16-ounce bag (or 2 cups) orzo (preferably tricolor vegetable orzo, such as Eddie's)

1-1/2 ounces seasoned vegetarian "sausage," sliced (or low-fat poultry-based sausage, if you prefer)

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

2 to 3 large carrots, chopped very fine

1/2 to 1 large red onion, chopped

1/2 large leek, chopped

1/4 red cabbage, chopped or shredded

1 green zucchini or yellow squash, diced

1 bulb garlic, minced

1 28-ounce can diced or stewed tomatoes, plain or Italian-style

Ground coriander, 1/2 to 1 T. or to taste

Fennel seed, 1 tsp.

Italian seasoning (or oregano and/or marjoram) to taste (I use at least 1 T. each)

Dash cayenne

Black pepper and salt, to taste

Lowfat mozzarella cheese, one cup grated

1 15-ounce can pinto beans

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes


In a large (minimum 4-quart) nonstick sauté pan, heat two T. olive oil. Over medium heat, first sauté the sausage and garlic until browned. Then add two or three of the vegetables at a time, until each "set" is softened, but not mushy. (Add a small amount of water if necessary to prevent sticking.) Add tomatoes and stir till heated through. Add spices. Add orzo. Pour water into the pan until orzo is completely covered and stir until all orzo is "submerged" (there should be about a quarter-inch of water above the orzo). Bring just to a boil on high heat, then simmer covered on low heat, about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally, until orzo is soft. Serve in large bowls.

The second night, to make a second dinner with different tastes and textures, add tomatoes and beans to the leftovers and reheat. You can top with grated cheese both times, if desired.

Note: Because it's healthier for the environment as well as for people, we use only organically produced cheeses (Organic Valley and Horizon are two national brands; check for your own local brands), organically grown produce, and packaged products with organically grown ingredients. See Food Brand Recommendations for brand suggestions.

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