Monday, September 23, 2013

VeganMoFo Day #23: Product Review Tofurky Chorizo and A Recipe For You!

Today dawned bright and shiny, and I awoke with all good intentions. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) work took a bit of a back burner today. Instead, I had a good visit with Pop, did some very minor arts and crafts, had some really great cat time (Peri, he just sucks you right into his space, you know?), did some extra running, as well as some (more) beach cleaning. Today is Vegan Recipe Monday, so I did look up a recipe for you and make something. I think the Universe was validating my choices today. When I went hunting for simple recipes, I stumbled upon this one from Meet the Shannons blog. It had soyrizo and chickpeas as the main ingredients. Seriously? I have countless number of pounds of fresh cooked chickpeas that just came out of the massive pressure cooker getting ready to freeze, and also happened to have one box of Tofurky brand chorizo style crumbles. Jackpot!

I bought the chorizo style crumbles a few weeks ago since it was a product I never used before. I like to try new things, you know that, so I figured what the heck, get the Tofurky chorizo. And, then it sat there. And sat. And sat. That happens a lot around here.... I get jazzed about a new product, and then I get so bogged down with work I just never get around to it.

So, today brought me the attitude of "I'm kicking work to the curb" and a determination not to spend hours in the kitchen. As far as the Tofurky chorizo goes, it was pretty good. It comes pre-seasoned, and ground. I think it would be best as a base for chili or something, if you don't like to use beans or tempeh in your chili. The texture was firm, but not overly chewy. The crumbles are pretty small in size. The seasonings were ok, I added cumin and garlic because that was what the recipe called for. If I were to buy this product again, I'd probably go to the Tofurky website first to see what suggestions they have for it, most likely tacos or burritos. Then again, I'm making tacos with kale lately, so to each their own. The recipe I'm giving you today is called a soyrizo and pasta dinner. It reminded me of chili, but was MUCH quicker to make. I think the recipe is exceptionally versatile. The other happy vegan told me that it reminded him of something his mother used to make "back in the day" called Roman Holiday. I never heard of that before, so I looked it up. Turns out, its a nasty dish of pasta, dead and cheese, baked. Well, now I understand why he said that, and I guess if I sprinkled Daiya on this, it would really have reminded him of that nasty dead stuff. Overall this was a really quick recipe that he even asked me to make again. He's funny that way.... he really loves casseroles, even though this wasn't a casserole, it reminded him of one.

I supposed I should say more about the crumbles, but I don't have much else to add.  I like Tofurky brand because they are GMO-free and a completely vegan-dedicated company. They have recently opened their new headquarters which is a LEED-certified building, and they had a nice big whoop-tee-do grand opening, and I would too because that's a pretty big deal. I support the brand, and I support the company. I do enjoy several of their other products, especially their smoky maple tempeh. I don't think the chorizo crumbles are going into rotation here since I don't use a lot of processed food and I like my chills with just beans and vegetables. If you like a "heartier" style dish that might remind you of meat, then you'd really like this product. This is the thing with the other happy vegan and I, he's a fan of meat analogues while I've distanced myself from them for the most part. I find no drawback to this product, the flavor was good, and it was a really good "go-to" item for today considering I wanted to spend virtually no time cooking. Mission accomplished.  Here's the recipe:

Soyrizo and Pasta Dinner (courtesy of Meet the Shannons)

1 package macaroni, cooked per instructions (I used 8 oz of quinoa mini-shells)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with basil (I used 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes)
2 cups Soyrizo (I used 1 box of Tofurky brand chorizo style)
1T olive oil (probably can omit if you're freaky about oils)
1/4 t garlic powder (hm.... I added a bit more, yum)
1t cumin
fresh cilantro, chopped for topping (not here. The other happy vegan HATE cilantro, what a pity)
hot sauce (optional) Not optional here. We love hot sauce, and put it on our oatmeal... KIDDING! but we do like it. A lot.

Prepare your pasta as directed.

Preheat your skillet (cast iron is probably best, I didn't drag mine out, I used my stainless), and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the soyrizo and chick peas. Mix. Once soyrizo starts to brown (look, this was an issue... I obviously used a different style than the recipe was planning, and it comes from the package brownish. So, I heated it for about 5 minutes, and moved on), add your tomatoes and seasonings. Let cook til the mixture is saucy and thick (not long at all)

Serve hot over the pasta with cilantro and hot sauce.

I served it with hot sauce and a small dollop of vegan sour cream.

Seriously, recipes cannot get any easier than this!

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