Friday, November 9, 2012

Vexican Mac & Cheese (aka: Empowerment Pasta)

Vexican= Vegan Mexican in case you didn't catch that.... :)

It was just your standard dinner....
Or so I thought.

I took left overs with me for lunch the other day, and a few students came over to see what I was eating. I simply told them "pasta". One asked if she could have a bite. I thought she would hate it, its full of beans, zucchini, cilantro, peppers, and a bunch of mexican spices that Koreans never eat- ESPECIALLY Korean children. But, I gave her a bite anyway.

Then she yelled "Oh yummyyyyyyy, one more time!!!"

Needless to say, I was immediately surrounded with a swarm of 4 year olds wanting to try it. So, I let them try.... they too LOVED IT!!! They kept begging me for bites and when I told them I needed to eat the rest because, after all,


this is what happened.......


*Please forgive how loud my voice is... I am in a room with 18 4 year olds all day and if you want to be heard, you adjust your volume when needed. The background noise in the room was MUCH louder than it appears*

Now that you know how much you (and your kids) are going to love this, I will share the recipe.


3 Cups of Whole Wheat Pasta
1 Pepper
1 Zucchini
1 Cup of Kidney Beans
1 Onion
1 Handful of cherry tomatoes with all the juices squeezed out
a Bunch or 2 of Cilantro and/or parsley

2 Cups of non-dairy milk (almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, etc)
1/2 Cup of Nutritional Yeast
1/2 Cup of Organic Ketchup (or more if you want it tangier)
1/4 Cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon of Cumin
1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
1/4 teaspoon of Nutmeg
6 Cloves of Garlic, minced

  1. Cook soaked beans with 4 times as much water until they are done. The older the beans, the longer it will take. But it usually takes around 30 minutes.
  2. Cook pasta just a few minutes. Make sure it is al dente! Let it drain completely.
  3. Chop all veggies into however big or small you like them. 
  4. Put the tiniest bit of coconut oil in a pan and cook the veggies. Put in the onions, and zucchini first- let them cook a minute or so. Then add in the peppers, beans and tomatoes. Let everything cook together until tender and until the onions are see-through.
  5. In a blender place all the ingredients from 2 Cups of non-dairy milk to 4 cloves of garlic. Blend on low until mixed well.
  6. Pour the (non) Cheese mixture over the veggies and continue cooking on low heat around 5 minutes or until the flour taste cooks out.
  7. Mix in pasta and top with fresh cilantro or parsley!

Candids from the Process... The COLORS!! The COLORS!!

The Finished Product

Served with Cilantro Cinnamon Beats and Sunflower Seed Oat Bread! 

Now- I'm not expert on child-rearing. But I AM an expert on picky eaters, being a picky eater for many years and now in reform....

But if kids in South Korea LOVE this, and aren't used to any flavors or textures like this- I think most kids in the US would love it too! But if you are still convinced your kids won't like it:

  • Chop the veggies up smaller and they won't even notice. 
  • Let them add the ketchup- kids LOVE ketchup and they will think it's funny that you are putting it in to the blender!
  • Most importantly- don't ask them if they want to eat beans. Don't act hesitant giving it to them. Just be confident and "fly casually". 

Oh how I wish my own mother would have exposed me to more foods than frozen chicken nuggets and Kraft mac & cheese when I was young! But that is a story for another time!

Empowering yourself is never enough!

Empower your children too! Expose them to new foods and do it casually! Let them help out in the kitchen as much as possible. Teach them to "eat from the rainbow"... all those veggies are beautiful and life giving!
Whatever they are eating now is literally making their bones and tissues. Give them the best foods and teach them to make good choices for themselves as well. Believe me- they will thank you for years to come!

Empowerment comes in many forms. Don't search for it. It will come to you. Just be willing to receive it.

Can I get an "Olé!"



  1. omg adorables kids! i will be trying your recipe when I'm back from India, Meg. it looks yummy, REALLY yummy :)

    1. You're going to India!? That's amazing! Why are you going?

  2. I love that saying, "eat from the rainbow"! This pasta looks incredible. Thanks for this post. I can't wait to try out the recipe!

    1. Skittles has nothing on these veggies!

  3. Yummm~ I wanna try it but don't have nutritional yeast or Tumeric. Can I make it without them?

    1. It shouldn't be a problem to make it without the turmeric, but the nutritional yeast is really what makes this dish. It makes it smooth and creamy, just like cheese! AND, it's a great source of B12! You can always.... make an iHerb order ;)

  4. Replies
    1. Hi. Rach.! Thanks! Let me know if you try it. I think it MAY need more ketchup ;)

  5. yum! that looks so amazing. i will have to try and make it soon.

    1. Hi Keishua! Let me know if you try it out, you're going to LOVE IT!

  6. Wow! Where did you get the whole wheat pasta/lovely sunflower seed bread in Korea??

    1. Hi roundthemoon! I got the pasta from! Have you seen that site?! It's been a lifesaver while living here. Awesome products and SUPER FAST and cheap shipping!! You can get a $10 discount on your first order with the coupon code YUR005!! I have also seen some whole wheat pasta in the import/specialty section of Shinsegae on B1.

      Do you live in Busan? I got the sunflower bread from a great bakery in Shinsegae Centum City. It's on B1 and called something like "Dalliyou" I know I am spelling it wrong. I believe the name of the bread is in Korean and translates to "Well being wheat bread". I was pleasantly surprised to see sunflower seeds in it!