If you’re craving warm comfort food that’s delicious AND healthy, this one’s for you. Added bonus? It’s simple, easy and quick to make. Some people I work with had the opportunity to sample this dish. They loved it so much they don’t even notice it’s vegetarian and asked me for the recipe.
After posting the photo on my Instagram and Facebook pages last week I received even more requests for the recipe. So, today I’m sharing it with you. This is the perfect dish to bring to a potluck (maybe a Super Bowl party?) because 1.) You can make it the night before 2.) The recipe is easily doubled or tripled 3.) It’s inexpensive to make.
Veggie ‘Beef’ Mac & Cheese
Serves: 4-6 especially when you add a veggie side dish.
- 3 cups cooked pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 3 gloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup diced mushrooms
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (do not drain)
- 8 ounce tomato sauce
- 12 ounces soy crumbles like those from Yves, Beyond Meat or LightLife
- 1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese or non-dairy shreds
Heat frying pan over medium heat, add oil. Add onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add carrots and zucchini, sauté for 3 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and corn, sauté for 5-10 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato sauce and soy crumbles. Stir in ¾ cup shredded cheese. Transfer into casserole dish. Cover with remaining cheese. Bake in 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
A few ingredient notes:
• For the pasta: I recommend whole wheat pasta, but you get extra credit if you choose something high in fiber and protein like Ancient Harvest’s line of quinoa, bean and lentil pastas. They are organic and gluten free as well. If you do use these kinds of pasta, I recommend you undercook the pasta because it will still cook a bit while baking and will absorb moisture from the casserole. By undercooking, your pasta will stay firmer in the casserole especially if you have any leftovers.
• For the tomatoes: I like food with a spicy kick to it, so I choose the canned tomatoes with chilies. If you don’t like heat, you can choose whatever flavor resonates with you and that, ideally, is reduced in sodium. Notice I did not add any salt to my recipe because the soy crumbles as well as the canned tomatoes and tomato sauce have sodium.
• Regarding the non-dairy shreds: I buy mine at my Apple Valley WinCo Foods grocery store in the refrigerated section where other vegetarian items like tofu are found but upon closer inspection, I found they do contain milk products.
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