I grew up in New England, and rarely left that safety net, until fairly recently. Yes, I moved. I should probably go and change my bio and things. I will, eventually. I will miss my dear old New England, her weather, her people, her trees, and her coastline. But, I also welcome something that was probably needed in life: A change.
Hello, New York. Well, I should say hello Western New York. I do not wish to be confused for a New Yorker, as in one of those city people, with their evil baseball team.
Okay, so, when I do miss New England, which is bound to happen, I go and whip up something that is known in New England. It could be baked beans, it could be steaming my veggie burgers, and so on. Today, it is American Chop Suey.
Now, outsiders, those not from New England, will insist it is simply a goulash. I say no to that! I am a New Englander, no matter where I live, and it is American Chop Suey. Now, you are probably asking yourself, if you have continued reading, what in the world is this ” American Chop Suey” you speak of? Well, its a pasta, usually a macaroni, with some kind of ground, along with tomato sauce, onions, and green pepper.
When I was an omnivore I used to enjoy my mom making it for me, so it is only right and fitting I make one that does not include all that animal stuff, as that is just plain mean. Or something.
I have no facts, or history about the dish – I am just going to assume it came to popularity along with other dishes when New England saw a rise in immigrants from Italy. That sounds like a good guess. Not a fact by any means, but possibly a reasonable assumption to make. Would native Americans recognize it? Perhaps – perhaps not.
-4 cups of veggie broth.
-2 cups of TVP, the the ground stuff.
- 2 teaspoons of celery salt.
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder.
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- 1 teaspoon of tarragon.
- Ground pepper.
- 3 tablespoons of steak sauce.
- 1 tablespoon of Braggs liquid aminos, or soy sauce.
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
- 1 teaspoon of thyme.
You basically just toss all this in a pot, and let it simmer for about an hour.The longer you let it soak up the broth the more flavorful the TVP will be. Or so I believe. This could just be in my head, but let us just pretend it is factual. That works best for me. Once it is cooked, drain most if not of the remaining liquids and put aside the TVP.
American Chop Suey Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- one large onion, diced.
- 2 small to medium green peppers, chopped into one inch pieces.
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.
- 3 cans of diced tomatoes.
- 2 small cans of tomato sauce.
- 2 teaspoons of basil.
- 1 teaspoon of parsley.
- 2 teaspoons of oregano.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- A box of pasta, macaroni or any other smaller pasta, cooked.
- The prepared TVP.
First, you will want to heat that oil up in a pan, then add the onion and pepper, cooking over medium heat, for around 7-8 minutes, till they soften but still have a bit if texture. Toss in the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. You can stir occasionally unless you find this far too tiring on you.
Toss in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and all the spices.Lower heat to between medium and low, stir a few times, and let it cook for 15 minutes.
While this is happening you can ice and rest you arm, as all that stirring probably tired you out.
Now, toss in the TVP, and stir – Again! Cook for 10 minutes, now toss in your pasta, toss well, and let this cook for another 10 minutes.
New Englanders like to top their American Chop Suey with either Worcestershire sauce, grated Parmesan, or a combination of both. So you can do that, too. If you want. No pressure.