I gave this 3, not 4, stars for two reasons: it tasted really good, but I had to make a few changes to it. It's not astounding or anything but it's a hearty meal with lots of veggies, fiber, and protein. I can't stand mushrooms but the rest of my family likes them. Instead of "very finely chopping" the onion, mushrooms and carrots, I actually made somewhat of a chunky paste with them: I pureed half of the mixture (this made the dish more watery than it was supposed to be, so I had to add a bit more flour to thicken it up), and finely chopped the other half in the food processor and it came out great. I can't even taste the mushrooms, which was a big bonus, at least for me. I used Fiber Gourmet elbow noodles, which is actually much healthier than whole-wheat pasta and tastes way better. I used 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, 3/4 teaspoon dried basil, about 1 teaspoon of Penzeys Pizza Seasoning (Weird, I know, but it tastes amazing!) and a little less than 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper to avoid what other reviews said about this dish ("Too much thyme; bland."). Oh, and I added a rounded teaspoon of freeze-dried chives instead of using fresh chives/parsley as a garnish. Because I have a lot of regular beef broth on hand, I didn't go out and buy reduced-sodium broth. I only used a dash of salt from the salt-shaker, which I'm not even sure I needed but I wanted to be safe. To cut down on fat and calories, I used 93% lean beef and fat-free sour cream. I doubt I'd taste the difference between using 90% and reduced-fat and what I made. I calculated the calories and my version easily cut out about 100 calories per serving (although just one cup, not 5/4 cups, was more than enough) I'll definitely be making this again.
Mo, McLean, VA