Tonight, I veganized a recipe for Chicken Spaghetti Casserole ... I'm calling it Tofu "Chicken" Surprise because it contains a few ingredients that I was surprised to see listed together. But it tastes awesome!
The original recipe came from "The Best of the Best Arkansas Recipes." It's one of those spiral bound-type books where many of the ingredients are processed, canned convenience items. I borrowed it from my mom so I could veganize and unprocess some of the classic Southern dishes.
For this dish, I marinated some tofu in a faux chicken broth overnight. Then I mixed it with vegan cream of mushroom soup, canned tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, celery, and whole wheat penne pasta. Then I topped it with nutritional yeast and baked for 30 minutes.
I would have never thought to put canned tomatoes and cream of mushroom in the same recipe. The surprise is that those two ingredients actually work very well together. At first, the sauce was a little pink (the mix of the white cream soup and the red tomatoes), but it cooked up to become a more appetizing orange.
I had to make the cream of mushroom from scratch using soymilk, mushrooms, cornstarch, and some dried herbs. I want to include this in my cookbook, so I didn't want to rely too heavily on hard-to-find items like canned vegan cream of mushroom. I'm trying to create each recipe with easy-to-locate ingedients, so people living in rural areas can make each dish. I know what it's like being veg in a small town, and let me tell ya folks, it ain't easy.