Vegan “Tuna” Helper

When I was a tween, my dad was determined to teach me to be a responsible person.  (Thank goodness he did!)  He taught me to do laundry, clean the house, and  make dinner.  I was responsible for making dinner a few nights a week; however, a single, recently divorced man and his young daughter’s idea of cooking was making hamburger (or tuna) helper.  That stuff was so good.  It always had this creamy, irresistible sauce loaded with sodium and fat and there was always pasta too.  Who doesn’t like pasta?!  (Crazy people, that’s who.)

I came across a recipe in Kathy Hester’s The Vegan Slow Cooker that looked a lot like tuna helper to me.  Kathy’s recipe is called “Chick’n and Mushroom Casserole” I tweaked the recipe a bit, replacing the seitan with chickpeas (because I’m kinda over seitan right now) and adding green peas (you GOTTA have green peas in tuna helper – makes it healthy).  I also topped it with homemade vegan parmesan instead of breadcrumbs. If you don’t like chickpeas, I think the Gardein brand chick’n breasts would be good in this.

This stuff is SO good.  I couldn’t wait to have it for leftovers today!

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
8oz package of sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon Better Than Bullion’s No Chicken Base
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup of green peas (or so… I just sort of dumped some in)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
8 oz whole wheat rotini
vegan parmesan for topping (blend equal parts nutritional yeast and almonds together in a food processor)

Saute the onions in a little olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and mushrooms and let the ‘shrooms cook down for about 8 minutes. 

Add the thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, green peas, chickpeas, bullion paste, and pasta.  Mix well and add to a lightly oiled crockpot.  Stir in the almond milk and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours.  Sprinkle the vegan parm (or some breadcrumbs) over the top of each serving.

(Sorry no pic – I gobbled it all up before I thought to take one!)


2 thoughts on “Vegan “Tuna” Helper

  1. What I love about this is no excess fat! (I used a few spritzes of olive oil during the sautee phase.) Other recipes have like, 1/4 cup or more of something, usually Earth Balance! When ONE TABLESPOON is 100 calories of straight fat! Loved this.

  2. Pingback: Foodie Tuesday: Childhood Foods Revisited and Veganized | I Eat Grass

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