Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Super Fast & Easy Soyrizo Pasta Dinner

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So I admit it. I burnt myself out. if you know me in person -- you know that me admitting this is a huge deal.

After years of working 40+ hours a week in the animal rights movement and writing this blog and then writing our book and now starting our second book... I'm exhausted. There was also a slight shift in this blog that was unintentional but after taking a little break from posting regularly I can see pretty clearly. See in the beginning this blog was about our mission to make anything and everything vegan but as this blog became more popular and more and more people who I didn't know and who have never eaten any of my food began to read this thing -- well there was this pressure for lack of a better word -- to not have typos and never admit that that I burnt a cookie or that a recipe was anything less than a cruelty-free dream come true.

I neurotically tested and tested recipes for the book and I tried to keep up with all the emails we get and failed. Somewhere in all this I started to feel like a little rock was sitting on my chest. I started to stay up late worrying that people won't like our book and worry that people wouldn't read it and understand that Betty Goes Vegan is full of great weekday standbys, old family favorites and guilt-less pleasures. It's also about helping people use all these great vegan products out there to their full potential. I mean yes a lot of us are DIY types but most people in our society choose their food based on convenience, cost and flavor. I've been doing vegan outreach for over 20 years now and I keep hearing the same reasons why people were reluctant to go vegan : giving up their favorite dishes, weird food and inconvenient. The reasons I keep hearing why people stopped being vegan : giving up their favorite dishes, weird food and inconvenient. That's why Betty Goes Vegan is carefully designed to not just help people go vegan but stay vegan by turning old meaty and cheesy favorites into vegan classics.

Yeah. I've lost a lot of sleep lately over it. It can be scary to put yourself out there and care about things. But there was a few things that have happened lately.

The Tacos  Photo Credit : Hannah Banana Baker

  1. I read this post by Bonsai Aphrodite. See after 3 years (just like us) she also was dealing with a serious case of burn out. I related more than I liked to almost every line of this post and after reading it had this moment when I asked myself why something I love as much as this blog wasn't making myself deliriously happy. So I remembered why I fell in love with this blog and vegan outreach to begin with.
  2. A vegan bakery named The Hannah Banana Bakery in the UK posted photos of our Thai Lemongrass Tofu Tacos and I started to cry a little. I have no idea why I get so excited when you guys send me pictures but it made me think over my morning tea and inspired me to write this long post and to get back to sharing that joy with all of you!

So here I am sharing with you a dinner we had the other night that is super simple and fast. So you know less time in your hot kitchen. It also features Tofurky's new vegan Chorizo style grounds but you can also use your favorite vegan soyrizo product if you can't find the Tofurky grounds in your area yet. I do recommend enjoying this with a salad. I try to get greens in every meal and this recipe lacks greens. Besides that... It's a pretty much a perfect weekday dinner.

I'm also promising that I'm giving up my little rock of doubt and fear... insecurity and getting back to posting on a regular basis. I'm trading in that rock for hope and not taking myself so seriously... and soyrizo pasta dinners.

OK enough gabbing. Let's eat!

Soyrizo Pasta Dinner
  • 1 Package Gemelli or Macaroni (cooked per instructions on the package)
  • 2 Cups Soyrizo
  • 1 28oz Can Diced Tomatoes with Basil
  • 1 14oz Can Garbanzo Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • Fresh Cilantro (chopped for a topping)
  • Hot Sauce (optional)
Prepare your Pasta per instructions on the package.

In your neglected cast iron skillet, heat your Olive Oil over medium heat. Once your oil is hot, toss in your Soyrizo and Garbanzo Bean and mix. Once your Soyrizo starts to light brown, add your Tomatoes and Cumin and mix. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the mixture becomes saucy and thickens a bit.

Serve hot over your Pasta and with some Cilantro and Hot Sauce over the top.

And not to be too pushy but be sure and make a batch of Limeade to go with it!


  1. Hi Annie, just curious as to how you were involved in the animal rights movement and who you worked for? I am trying to decide what my next step in life should be and am strongly leaning in this direction, so I am genuinlely just curious. If you would rather send me an email, you can send to jcanilly@msn.com. But if you don't have time, I will definitely understand ;-) Thanks for everything you do!

  2. I think it's true of all avocations that they can take a lot out of us. I love the volunteer work I do, but mainly after it's done each week. That's the only time it really makes me glow. Sometimes I say why, why am I putting in this time and effort when I'd rather take a nap or watch tv or clean up this place. Sometimes I can think of a thousand things I'd rather be doing. Then I try to imagine life without it, and I know I can never give it up.

  3. This looks delicious! I love soyrizo and this is a great and new way of incorporating them into a meal. Have to try this. Thanks


  4. I want you to know how much I (and my family) appreciate you and your efforts. I can't even begin to tell you how many times you've been our dinner time heroine. When my husband and I are trying to figure out what to put on our family weekly menu plan or when we're home after a long day and are staring blankly into the pantry trying to figure out what to feed our kids that will result in the minimum amount of dinner time drama, we always go to your blog to skim through the recipes for dinner inspiration. I mean, seriously, our kids ADORE the cheeseburger pie recipe so much that a double batch is not enough for leftovers. We frequently recommend your recipes to friends.

    We can't wait to purchase your book both for our family, and friends.

    Keep fighting the good fight -- you're winning!!

  5. I've never had chorizo (vegan or otherwise); I've always wondered how it is .. this might be a great way to finally try it out.

  6. I love your blog, cannot wait for Betty Goes Vegan, and really want to hear more about this second book! And I hope you get some rest. :)

  7. Ohmygosh - that picture looks mouth-watering! This recipe should come in handy - you're right, quick and easy!

  8. I totally agree with having convenient instant foods as a great way to ease into the vegan lifestyle and it's flavours. Even for an "established" vegan these products also help when cooking for omnis.

    My only issue is how jealous I get of the amazing variety of different faux meats and desserts and such that you guys get over in the States! It's amazing! Here in Australia it's pretty limited, and most soy stuff seems geared towards the lactose intolerant. We are slowly catching up though :)

    Regardless I can't wait for your book to come out. Even if it's half as good as the recipes you churn out for your blog I will certainly love it. :)

  9. I'm gonna make this with the fresh tomato deluge I have..