cashews · chili · mac and cheese · nutritional yeast · tvp

Vegan Tailgate Chili Mac and Cheese

Week 12 Browns vs. Steelers

Chili Mac and Cheese

Nothing says tailgating quite like a bitter rivalry and bitter cold.  It might have been hard to watch or move your extremities at times, but the food was the highlight of the day.  You’ve got to enjoy some quality tailgate grub and talking about the draft for next season.

My tailgate mac and cheese is one of my favorite recipes on this blog.  As I discuss in the post, vegan mac and cheese can be quite the adventure.  After experimenting for the past few years, I’ve settled on cashew based recipes, whole wheat noodles and lots of added flavor.  Unlike dairy mac and cheese, where the milk does all the work, vegan mac requires some creative flare.

On a cold day, you need some warm comfort food like chili.  Mac and cheese is not too far behind.  So why not combine the two, put it in a grill pan and throw it on the hot fire?  This recipe uses quick and simple TVP chili without beans, although a few legumes wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Mix it all together the night before and then just bring to the tailgate ready to grill.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb whole wheat macaroni
  • Cheese sauce!
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least an hour
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 roasted red peppers, skins peeled
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
  • 2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cups TVP
  • 1-15oz can petite diced tomatoes, slightly drained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (I used ancho and penzy’s chili 3000)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prep work:
    1. Soak cashews.  Cover in cold water and set in the fridge.
    2. Turn oven to broil and roast peppers for a half hour.  Let cool and remove the skins
  2. Boil a large pot of water for the macaroni and cook according to package.

    The TVP Chili
  3. Meanwhile, in another pot sauté one of the onions for a minutes.  Add a couple cloves of garlic and place in a high speed blender.  
  4. Drain the cashews and add the to the blender with the vegetable broth, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, peppers, 2 tablespoons of the tomato paste, ground mustard, turmeric and salt and pepper to taste.  Blend!
  5. Add the blended cheese mix back to the pot and heat on low until it thickens.  
  6. Meanwhile, rehydrate the TVP in 3 cups of hot water.
  7. Sauté the other onion in a large pan.  When they turn brown, add the rest of the garlic for 30 seconds.  
  8. Toss in the spices and the rehydrated TVP.  sauté for another minute or two then toss in the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Cook for another couple of minutes.
  9. Toss the TVP mix, the pasta and the cheese sauce.  Cover with foil to refrigerate until ready to grill.
  10. Toss directly on a hot grill for about 20-25 minutes.  It is done when the cheese is bubbling!  A little cripsy on the bottom is good too. 
    All grilled up

    Chili mac pairs nicely with hot chili and grilled veggies
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