Vegan Chili Mac

image courtesy of mexicandestinations.com

I am not vegan. I am not even a vegetarian. But that does not stop me from loving FatFree Vegan Kitchen. I have no idea how I originally found this website, but I am glad I did. I have tried several of her recipes and loved them all. I also have several thousand more bookmarked to try. Why do I like her recipes so much? Because they are all about healthy, whole ingredients. But the dishes she makes are far from bland. Take her chili mac recipe for example. Traditional chili mac should be loaded with lots of fatty cheese and ground beef, but since those are a no-no for vegans, her’s has nutritional yeast (for that cheesy flavor) and pinto or kidney beans. It has been over a year since I first made this recipe (though by now I merely use her’s as a basic outline) and it is one dish that the husband requests over and over again (but that’s probably because he knows I won’t cook him the fatty, cheesy version…).

There are only a few changes as a result of our preferences (we have found we do not like onion in this dish) and what we generally have on hand. The way we make it is shown below.

Vegan Chili Mac (based on recipe from FatFree Vegan Kitchen)

8 ounces organic whole wheat spirals – $0.65

8 oz tomato sauce – $0.50

1 – 1 1/2 cups water – let’s say $0.00

2 generous tbsp chili powder – $0.14

10 oz organic frozen corn – $1.50

2 cups cooked pinto beans – $0.35

3 tbsp nutritional yeast – $1.35

3 cups fresh spinach – $1.33

1. Cook pasta until desired tenderness. Drain.

2. Put pasta back in pot and mix in rest of ingredients (exact amount of water will vary)

3. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally (or it WILL stick…not that I would know)

Total cost – $5.82 for four servings

*Fresh kale as suggested in the original recipe is delicious in this dish and gets a more spicy bite to it. But frozen (or fresh) spinach works well in it, too, and is usually what I have on hand.


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