A couple of weeks ago, I went to a pretty cool showcase/luau put on by Follow Your Heart, to show off their new cheese shreds. To be honest, I had already tried them at Expo West, in March, and was totally enamored. So, it only took a little convincing to get me to make that 54-mile one way trip.
The day of was a warm one, a lot like today has been; but in Chatsworth near Canoga Park, it was 102ºF. Talk about hot! When I showed up at their factory, the event was held outside (!!!), but they provided plenty of libations to keep people hydrated and cool. Plus, there were some beers from Angel City Brewery and the Vegan Vine, both of which were very good.
There were tons of bite-sized treats served, ranging from the cutest mini-tacos to grilled cheese bites, to baked mac and cheese. Not to mention, they were relentless with the trays of food. I had to abstain from eating for a bit because I was getting full off of these mini-meals! Don’t get me wrong, that is not a complaint, it’s more of a surprise; especially since a different event that I went to the week before left me hungry, and I had to go eat afterward. FYH, you’re doing it right!
Since I had brought my friend Jess, from The Vedge App, to the part-ay, we joined the second group from a tour around the facility. This meant seeing their supplies, distribution center and walk-in refrigerators (which were very welcoming to all of us sweaty vegans). It was at the event that I found out about a crazy recipe contest that they’re doing on their site, where you can win some awesome prizes.
Obviously, this recipe was destiny, because duh, it’s Born to Mac MoFo and delicious cheese shreds need to be used! So, I went to my nearest WholeFoods and got their Fiesta Shreds, which are very much like pepperjack. To be honest, I like them better than the Daiya ones (GASP!), even straight out of the bag they have a better texture.
Now I have this hearty, flavorful mac ‘n’ cheese/chili mash-up dish that will be great for the cooler temps coming around. I added a good amount of veggies into this chili so that it’s not SUPER heavy and because it tastes great, obviously. 😉
One Year Ago: Roasted Veggie Guacamole
Two Years Ago: Strawberry Coconut Oatmeal
Chili Fiesta Mac 'n' Cheese
- 1 tsp . Coconut Oil
- 1/2 C . Red Onion Diced
- 2/3 C . Yellow Bell Pepper Diced
- 2/3 C . Zucchini Diced
- 2/3 C . Tomato Diced
- 1 C . Cooked Black Beans
- 1 C . Cooked Kidney Beans
- 1 T . Chili Powder
- 1 tsp . Ground Cumin
- 1/2 tsp . Paprika
- Pinch of Cayenne
- 1/2 tsp . Sea Salt
- 1/2 C . Water or Vegetable Broth
- 1 1/2 T . Tomato Paste
Mac & Cheese
- 2 C . Dried Pasta
- Water for Boiling
- 1 1/2 C . FYH Vegan Gourmet Shreds Fiesta Blend
- 2/3-3/4 C . Non-Dairy Milk
- C Optional: 1/4 . Vegan Margarine
- Avocado Cubed (optional but highly recommended!)
Warm a large saute pan over medium heat, with the coconut oil in it.
Once very hot, add the onions to the pan and saute until they begin to turn clear. Add the bell pepper, zucchini and tomato to the pan and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Adjust the heat to low-medium, and stir in the beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, water (or veggie broth) and tomato paste until evenly dispersed.
Bring to a simmer and cover with lid. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mac & Cheese
While the chili is simmering, bring the water for your pasta to a boil and follow the directions on the package for cooking.
Once the pasta has been drained and rinsed with cool water, put the pasta & pot back on the stove at low-medium heat.
Add the cheese shreds and non-dairy milk (plus margarine if you'd like) to the noodles and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the cheese shreds have completely melted.
Left the cover on the macaroni pot, and return your attention to the chili. It should be chunky with a little bit of "soup" liquid, stir it all together and remove it from heat.
Depending on your appetite, this is between 2-4 servings. So, try scooping 1 cup of mac into four separate bowls first, then topping it with chili. Garnish with two tablespoons of avocado per bowl and serve! 🙂
Since the voting for this contest happens so close to my birthday, it would be SO AWESOME if you could help a lady out and vote for my recipe HERE. 😉 <3