Vegan Mofo: Isa's Helping Hand

Before going vegan in '04, I subsisted mostly on packaged, processed crap. I was vegetarian, but that didn't stop me from buying boxes and boxes of macaroni and cheese, packaged rice mixes, and even Hamburger Helper. I'd add ground veggie burger in place of the ground beef for a quick (and cheap) week night meal. Even though I'm sure it was loaded with hydrogenated oils (I didn't even know what that was back then), white flour pasta, and tons of ingredients I can't even pronounce, I remember it tasting pretty damn good.

So when I saw Isa's Tempeh Helper on the Show Us Your Mitts PPK blog, I knew I HAD to make it:


Isa subs crumbled tempeh for the ground burger, quinoa pasta for the seminola-laden stuff, and even tops the dish with a noochy sauce. Remember how some of the Hamburger Helper flavors came with a package of cheese topping powder? The cheeze sauce — which was just your basic nooch, flour, garlic powder, water deal — really made me feel like I was eating the boxed stuff I used to love.

And much like Hamburger Helper, Isa's version (recipe is here) came together in less than 30 minutes. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal.