For those of you who don’t know me (which is probably all of you) I, like many American’s, have a background made up of many nationalities. Eight that we know of, actually. I am English, Irish, Scottish, Scotch-Irish (my family assures me this is different than simply being Scottish or Irish; however, I am suspicious that it doesn’t count as it’s own nationality, but who am I to argue with family history?) Welsh, French, German, and Dutch.
*Whew* That is a lot of cultures! It can make for a long conversation when someone asks me what my ancestry consists of, that’s for sure! That said, I certainly am happy that all of those people came together at different times in history to create my family. I am proud of all eight of my known nationalities, and I think everyone should be proud, or at least interested in the melting pot that has made us, well… us! In my opinion, cultures blending and mixing is definitely a good thing, especially so we can all try new foods!
On the topic of many cultures coming together to make one, I have a dish that is just like that. The other night I was in the mood for Italian food, or possibly Mexican, which are my personal favorite food genre’s. I decided to try something new, a totally personal dish that I didn’t just veganize from someone else’s recipe. I came up with the idea for what I like to call the “Mex-Itali Bake”. Some people might think this dish is a bastardization of two separate cultures, but I like to think of it as an homage to both! I hope you will agree.
This dish is a pasta dish, incorporating elements from both cultures into one tasty, HEARTY, vegan-licious meal. In order to make it you will need the following:
1 box Vegan Whole Wheat or Low Carb Penne Pasta
1 Jar Marinara Sauce
1 Can Corn
1 Can Pinto Beans
1 Package or Can of Vegan Burger Replacement (If you don’t use meat substitutes, black beans would be delish!)
1 Can Green Chilli’s (If you get whole chilli’s, don’t forget to chop them!)
1 Package Wayfare Foods Mexi-Cheddar (If you aren’t able to get this, I have a recipe for something similiar you can make yourself, and you can see it here: http://very-nearly-vegan.blogspot.com/2010/09/man-that-is-na-cho-cheese.html )
Several Tbs Wayfare Foods Sour Cream (Normally I prefer tofutti, but this is thicker, and helps thicken the sauce)
Daiya Cheddar (As you can see in the picture, I had to use Veggie Shreds, which contain Casein. Where I live, I can’t always get Diaya, so I use this in a pinch, since I am only very-nearly-vegan, but for anyone who is a strict vegan, please make sure to get a vegan alternative)
(All seasonings to taste)
Although there are a lot of ingredients, assembly is really rather simple. Boil Pasta to desired texture, drain and put back in pot. Add Wayfare Mexi Cheddar, and stir. Drain all canned ingredients and add, then stir in Marinara sauce and veggie-burger. Season mixture, periodically tasting to get correct amounts. I would tell you how much I put in, but I like garlic…. A LOT. Much moreso than most people, so I will spare you from that, lol! Pour mixture into a large baking dish and top with Daiya Cheddar and Vegan parmesan. Put in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
The finished product should look something like this: