LuAnn's "Veggie Chicken" Tetrazzini (could sub real chicken)
Makes a nice meal served with a crisp, cool salad, buttered corn on the cub and crusty garlic bread. When I was still using dairy, this was a favorite "Sabbath dinner" dish. The recipe is tried and true with the ingredients shown. I have added a few notes in the Parting Shots to indicate what changes would need to be made to "veganize" the recipe. Of course, you could go the other direction and use real chicken and chicken broth.
Yield: 3-quart casserole
1 (16-ounce) package spaghetti, broken into thirds, then cooked and drained according to package
1 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup margarine (LuAnn used) or butter*
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups whole milk
1 (4-ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, undrained
2 (13-ounce) cans Worthington brand "FriChick" (imitation fried chicken in broth), sliced or cubed**
Broth (from the canned vegetarian "chicken) + water to equal 2 cups
1/4 cup sliced black olives**
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)***
2 Tablespoons margarine (LuAnn used) or butter*
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray a shallow 3-quart baking dish generously with no-stick cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of water to a full boil in which to cook the pasta.
When the water is boiling vigorously, add the pasta and proceed with cooking and draining as described on the package.
Meanwhile, spread the sliced almonds into a single layer on a large baking sheet and toast in the heated oven for 8 to 12 minutes - watching carefully after the first five minutes and stirring as necessary for even browning, or until very lightly browned, then remove to cool.
Melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the julienned green and red bell peppers and saute until tender-crisp.
Lift the sauteed peppers from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Blend flour and seasonings into the melted margarine remaining in the skillet.
Slowly whisk in the milk, then cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens.
Stir in the undrained mushrooms, sliced or cubed FriChick, broth+ water, toasted almonds and olives until well-mixed.
Remove the skillet from the heat, then stir in the cheese well-mixed.
Fold the cooked, drained spaghetti into the sauce until well-mixed.
Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
Melt the 2 Tablespoons margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat, or in a small microwave-safe bowl.
Toss the bread crumbs in the melted margarine until coated.
Sprinkle the buttered crumbs evenly over the top of the spaghetti.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
You may, of course, use cooked, cubed chicken in place of Worthington FriChick and 2 cups chicken broth to replace the total of 2 cups broth+water listed in the recipe.
If you wish to veganize the recipe:
*Use olive oil or select a vegan margarine, such as Earth Balance or Melt in place of regular margarine or butter
**FriChick, which I used to use regularly, contains egg white; therefore, substitute a vegan chicken substitute, plus 2 cups vegetarian "chicken" broth. My favorite vegetarian "chicken" at this point is MGM brand; however, Gardein also makes very tasty meat substitutes - I just haven't tried the product that would replace the chicken in this recipe, so can't personally recommend it.
***Substitute 2 cups vegan shredded Cheddar cheese alternative, such as Daiya or 2 cups homemade vegan "Cheddar cheese" sauce.
Original recipe by LuAnn Bermeo, author of Amazing Meals I and II.