Monday, March 24, 2008

Tofu Surprise!

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.


Anonymous said...

Cream of Mushroom soup with canned tomatoes sounds interesting, but delicious!

Jennifer said...

I love veganizing recipes. And your Arkansas cookbook sounds very non-vegan, I imagine it contains a lot of things that even this Midwesterner still isn't sure what they are - such as ham hocks (it sounds so gross, I don't think I want to know). Ew and all the lard.

I am impressed with your ability to veganize southern food, it cannot be easy.

Veggie said...

This sounds like something I would like. I've been thinking about marinating tofu in a faux chicken broth for a few recipes but I haven't gotten around to it yet, did it taste a bit like chicken?

Anonymous said...

So... when are you going to need testers for all these great recipes? *cough(hint)cough* :)

One of these days I'll get around to ATTEMPTING to veganize some of my grandmother's old recipes - you've inspired me!

Urban Vegan said...

Bianca! Was that your article I read in VegNews on Mephis? If so, brava! (If not, you ought to check it out ;)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Haha, yeah, southern food isn't always too veggie friendly. I remember going to a Cracker Barrel once, and I thought I'd be ok ordering pinto beans and green beans, but they'd put ham in the pinto beans and bacon in the green beans! Your "surprise" dish looks great!

Theresa said...

Mmmm, mushroom tomato cream sauce... sounds so good! If you ever need a recipe tester who has limited access to vegan processed foods, I'm your gal! There is not even vegan soy cheese in this stupid city I live in--the one variety has casein in it! I'm glad someone is writing a cookbook who feels my pain!