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El Paso Tofu and Macaroni

This was a family favorite for many years.  When I went vegan, I stopped making it because the original relies so heavily on cheese.  Within the last few months I’ve adapted it with cashews, and it is again on the family list of demanded meals.  I was making a half recipe for just three of us, but I’m told that’s not enough, I must make more, more, more…

Adapted from Lean, Luscious, and Meatless by Hinman and Snyder.  One full recipe given below, said to feed 6 people, but my family says no.

Cook according to package directions:

  • 2 c (raw) whole wheat macaroni

Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and fry 5 min:

  • 1 c chopped onions

Stir in and bring to a boil:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-oz can green chilies (I used half an individual Goya adobo canned pepper, which I keep in the freezer because a little goes a long way – minced it)
  • 6-oz tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 c water
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1/3 t cumin

Turn off heat, add to sauce mix and toss:

  • the cooked macaroni
  • 9 oz extra- or super-firm tofu, cut to 1/2″ cubes*
  • 1 T nutritional yeast flakes (optional, gives an odd cheesy taste you may or may not like)
  • 3 T ground raw cashews** (gives a dairy taste)

Pour into lightly-oiled covered baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 45 min.

* A good use for leftover tofu is Faux Feta or just microwaved for use in salads or as snacks.   If you use extra-firm and would like the tofu in the finished dish to be more chewy, you can microwave the tofu first (in slabs, then dice after microwaving).
** Some stores sell bags of ground raw cashews, but you can just grind your own in a food processor or blender.

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