Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chili Cheeseburgers and Frito Pie

When I was a kid, my mom used to take me to Orange Julius where I would get a chili cheeseburger. I was so sad when they quit making it, but the memories remained fond. As a vegan, I wanted to recreate this somehow, but the chili was the problem.

My husband used to make these fantastic enchiladas for us, and wanted to continue to make them after we became vegan. The problem was finding chili that would work well.

In high school, I would occasionally get Frito pie at lunch. I remember the lunch ladies slitting open a bag of Fritos, pouring on the chili and sprinkling on the cheese. Wanted to recreate that, but again, the problem was the chili.

But no more!

I live in Texas, and the chili often used for things like Frito pie and my husband's enchiladas was a staple in everyone's pantry: Wolf Brand Chili. I tried, tried, tried to find a copycat recipe for it for me to veganize. No luck. Frustrating!

So, I wriggled and jiggled a chili recipe, and voila! Success! I won't try to convince anyone it is an accurate replica of Wolf Brand, but it works excellently on my chili cheeseburgers, hubby's enchiladas, and Frito pie! Warning: it is spicy! But in and on the above dishes, not so much.

Kerry's Wolf Brand Knockoff

1 bag crumbles or other vegan ground beef (I'm partial to Gimme Lean Beef)
8 oz can tomato sauce
16 oz. water
1 veggie bouillon cube
1 T. onion powder
2 t. garlic powder
1 T. paprika
1/2 t. cayenne
1 t. white pepper
1 T. chili powder (look for dark chili powder as opposed to regular chili powder)
1/2 t. salt
2 t. cumin

Bring all to a boil and then simmer.

For the chili cheeseburgers:

Vegan burger patties, like Boca Original Vegan
Hamburger buns
Sliced vegan cheese

Cook the patties. Place patty on a bun and top first with a slice of cheese, then a spoonful of chili. Enjoy!

Frito Pie

Shredded vegan cheese
Chopped green onions

In a bowl, layer Fritos, chili, cheese and onions. Enjoy!

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