Tuesday, July 31, 2012

a love affair with {soy} chorizo

Our obsession with finding new culinary favorites has been fueled by eavesdropping at the Trader Joe's checkout line.  About a month ago we heard someone raving about TJ's soy chorizo and how it's soooo amazing, even to non-vegetarians.

So naturally we scooped it up.  But then got a little stuck on what to do with it.  We didn't want to encroach too much on burrito night territory, so we decided to stay away from tortillas, rice, salsa, and guac.  With a little inspiration from the interwebs, we came up with these two concoctions:

Soy Chorizo with Quinoa | Soy Chorizo Mac & Cheese

I wrote "recipes" too!

//Soy Chorizo with Quinoa

This recipe is the lighter and healthier of the two.  While I recommend serving it hot, it also keeps well and is delicious cold.  It's also really good with some dairy (I tried with low fat cottage cheese) or probably with avocado (which we didn't try because we have been avocado-ed out).

Serves 2 if you're always super hungry like us (probably actually 4 servings)
1 cup quinoa
Beef bullion
1 package Trader Joe's soy chorizo (12 oz)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 can black beans
1 large or 2 small tomatoes, diced
1/2 can whole kernel corn
5 stalks green onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Update:  We tried this again without the black beans and I think I like it better.  It feels lighter and fresher that way, but less filling.  Adding lite sour cream was delish too!

Quinoa time!
  • Cook quinoa according to directions, adding beef bullion to water.
  • Remove casings from soy chorizo and place in a frying pan over med-high heat with olive oil.  Ignore how it looks kinda gross.. like pet food?  Add black beans after a few minutes.

  • When quinoa is cooked, mix in tomato, corn, and green onion. 

  • Add chorizo & black bean mixture to the quinoa.  Add cilantro and mix.  

  • Serve hot.  Marvel at how light, delicious, and meaty this vegetarian dish is.

//(Soy) Chorizo Mac & Cheese

We love making large quantities of mac & cheese for the leftovers.  This dish isn't crazy cheesy the way I made it, so add more if you want a super-cheesed dish.  It also doesn't particularly taste as chorizo-y as the quinoa recipe above, but is still super duper delish.  These photos do not do ANY justice to how amazing it is.  I still can't believe it's meatless.

Yields 4 servings if you're like us, 6-8 if you're a normal person.

1 lb pasta (16 oz), we used fusilli
1 package soy chorizo (12 oz)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced 
~5 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 can whole kernel corn 
Grated parmesan / romano cheese to taste (I gave it ~10 shakes.. not sure what that equates to in weight / volume haha)
2 tbsp skim milk 
6 stalks green onion, chopped
6-12 oz Mexican blend shredded cheese, depending how cheesy you want it (I used 6oz of the lite variety - not so cheesy)
Black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt to taste 
Seasoned bread crumbs

  • Cook pasta according to directions.  I recommend heavily salting the water and adding 1 tbsp olive oil to the water.
  • Remove casings from soy chorizo and place in a frying pan over med-high heat with olive oil and onions.  Once again, ignore how it looks kinda gross.
  • Cook until onions begin to get soft and translucent.  Add mushrooms and corn.

  • When pasta is cooked, strain.  Pour chorizo mix into the bottom of the pasta pot (to prevent sticking).  Add pasta and mix.  Add grated cheese and milk.  Add green onion and black and/or red pepper to taste.

  • Pour into lightly oiled baking dish, layering Mexican blend shredded cheese.  We used two 10" square casserole dishes.

  • Top with bread crumbs and bake until cheese is melty and top begins to brown.  I think we did 400deg for 15-20 min.
  • Serve warm.  Enjoy seconds (and thirds! and leftovers!)

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