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The Betty Crocker Project : Diablo Beef-less Lentil Chili Mac

Every food blogger has been there. You make this kick ass casserole-ish dish, a dish that you have a responsibility to share with the world and it’s pretty much as photogenic as the monster in Cloverfield. It can be hard to see in photos what makes this casseroley dish special and different than all the other casseroley dishes in the universe of the casseroles and casserole wanna-bes. See if you’re the kind of eater that loved our 3 Alarm Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger then you will love this casserole. It’s all “beefy” and “cheesy” while sparing those poor cows. It also has that “smokey” and “salty” bacon flavor that makes hipsters and the hipsteresque crave it like Gollum and that evil ring without harming any little piggies. And then on top of all that – it’s also spicy. The Chipotle peppers make a nice, deep, rich, smokey, warm spicy that will make you glad you made some Limeade to go with it. You remembered the Limeade right?

OK – Devil Casseroley Dish, prepare to be made and not in a Goodfellas way…

Diablo Beef-less Lentil Chili Mac

  • 1 Box Whole Wheat Macaroni (if you can find it – we couldn’t locate any for the photo batch)
  • 1 Bag Gardein Beef-less Tips (defrosted)
  • 8 Slices Vegan Bacon (we used Lightlife Smart Bacon but you can also use smoked tempeh)
  • 1 Can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Can Lentils (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Small Red Onion (diced)
  • 1 Small Yellow Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1 Small Orange Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper (you can add more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 Tablespoon Adobo Sauce (a lot of Chipotle Peppers come canned in this sauce – you can use that)
  • 1/4 Cup Beer or Non-Alcoholic Beer
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (Mexican flavored)
  • 1 Raw Tomato (diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Braggs
  • 1 Clove Garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Lime Juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Oregano
  • 2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Cilantro (diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Dashes Liquid Smoke
  • 3 Dashes Your Favorite Hot Sauce (more if you think you can handle it)
  • 1/2 Cup Daiya Vegan Cheddar (shredded – you might want a little extra to sprinkle over the top)
  • 1 Avocado (sliced)

Make your Macaroni per instructions on the package.

While your Macaroni is cooking, heat your Olive Oil and 2 Dashes of Liquid Smoke in your cherished cast iron skillet on a medium heat. Once your Oil is hot, toss in the Gardein. Flip it a few tips so the Gardein gets an even cover of Oil and Liquid Smoke. Then tear your Vegan Bacon into bite sized pieces over the Gardein and then cook. Occasionally flip your Gardien and Vegan Bacon and cook them unto they get a nice even brown. Then use a spatula to move our mock meat out of the skillet into a bowl. You want to keep as much Oil as possible in the skillet.

Add another dash of Liquid Smoke and your Chipotle Pepper to the skillet. Warning – it will steam but that might be why they call it “Diablo”. You want to make sure that steam doesn’t get in your eyes. You might think I’m being sensitive but trust me it will Oedipus you in a not Freudian way.

While it’s still steaming, toss in Bell Peppers, Onion, Beans, Adobe Sauce, Beer, Tomatos, Braggs, Garlic, Hot Sauce, Chili Powder and Lime Juice. Stir and cook until the Peppers are tender. Then add Lime Juice, Oregano, Cumin and Cilantro. Stir and cook for no more than another minute and then remove from heat. Stir in your Gardein and Vegan Bacon.

Then in a large bowl, mix your Daiya in with your warm Macaroni. You want it to start to melt slightly. To serve put the Pasta and Daiya mix on a plate and ladle the Diablo Beans, Vegan Bacon and Beefy mix over the Pasta. Sprinkle a little Daiya over the top and a few slices of fresh Avocado. The Avocado will mellow out the spices a bit.

And don’t forget to make that Limeade.

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