Monday, April 29, 2013

Mom's Sour Chili Chick'n Gets Veganized

I took another stroll down Recipe Lane, flipping through my ancient recipe box, and pulling out an old favorite I've been thinking about for a while now. Mom used to make Sour Chili Chicken for the family back in the 70's. It's one of those good old meat-and-dairy-bombs we used to think of as "healthy." Clearly there was no health whatsoever in recipes like these, for the humans who ate them, or the animals involved in creating the ingredients. Isn't it just so nice that we now have much healthier choices for all of us, and the intelligence and compassion to use them? I think so!

I'm not normally a big fan of fake meats. But as I see more and more of them hitting the market, and gaining popularity, I'm realizing that a lot of people are fond of them, particularly when it comes to "transitional dishes" that take a person from meat-eater to plant-eater in a familiar and tasty way. And in a recipe like this, mock-chicken is just the right thing. Sitting down to a plate of this spicy, creamy delight, I was positively transported back to the family table in 1973. I should call it Time Travel Casserole. It's that good.

Sour Chili Chick'n
serves 4 - made in a small 8x6x2 inch pan

1 1/2 cups vegan sour cream, store bought, or blend: 1 cup raw cashews that have been soaked 20 minutes, juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup nut milk
1/2 cup Daiya shreds, any flavor
1 cup diced green chiles (13 ounce tub frozen Bueno brand chiles, thawed and drained)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 (6 ounce) package Light Life Smart Strips Chick'n Style, or other vegan chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup almond milk
6 Food for Life organic sprouted corn tortillas, cut in half

Preheat oven to 350º
Lightly spray the baking pan with oil.
Stir all ingredients, except tortillas, together in a bowl.
Place 3 tortillas in the bottom of the pan, fitting the flat sides of the tortilla halves along the sides of the pan.
Spread half of the filling mixture over the tortillas.
Place the remaining tortillas over the filling, and top with remaining filling.
Bake at 350º for 45 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

Variations: Substitute tempeh or pressed tofu for the chick'n. Add or substitute chickpeas or pinto beans. Use cooked brown rice instead of tortillas.

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