Day 2: Recreate a meal from your childhood.
Me: “Have you ever had American chop suey?”
Steven: “What? No. What is that?!”
Me: “It’s like, elbow macaroni and beef in tomato sauce. My mom used to make it a lot when I was a kid.”
Steven: “OH! I called that cowboy mac!”
American chop suey, cowboy mac… whatever you call it, this ever-so-basic dinner is pure comfort food. Somewhere between a casserole, a chili, and plain old pasta with tomato sauce, it was a dinnertime standby during my childhood, yet I haven’t had it for probably 15 years. Today’s MoFo prompt, therefore, was the perfect excuse!
American Chop Suey (aka Cowboy Mac)
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 cup beefy crumbles, store-bought or homemade*
- 1/2 T garlic powder
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
- 8 oz elbow macaroni
- Salt and pepper to taste
Add water to a pot and bring to a boil for the pasta. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium, then add the onion, pepper, beefy crumbles, and garlic powder. Sauté over medium for 6-8 minutes or until the crumbles are browned. Add both cans of tomatoes, stir to combine, and simmer uncovered on low.
In the meantime, when the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to the package’s instructions.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add it to the pot with the sauce. Simmer together for another 5 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
* I made the Basic Seitan Crumbles from 500 Vegan Recipes.
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8 thoughts on “Veganized American Chop Suey”
ACS (as we fondly call it) is a big crowd-pleaser at my house; this is my veganization of my mom’s rendition.
I’ll have to try yours! My mom’s version was pretty bare-bones, so I’d love to give this one a whirl. :)
Oh my — I commented on your post four years ago! I have no memory of that. :)
my mom always called it goulash :)
So many names for such a simple dish!
Good comfort food on a chilly day. I grated some tempeh to use as the beef crumbles and marinated it with some of the tomato sauce and some vegan Worcestershire sauce prior to adding to the mix.
Thanks for the feedback! Great idea to marinate tempeh crumbles; thanks for sharing!
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