Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chex-type Party Mix

OK, this is the standard Holiday favorite in our house. My kids wouldn't believe it was Holiday time without the savoury, toasty smell. Forget gingerbread and cinnamon! And as an added plus, it's super-popular even with those NON-vegan types; not at all "weird" when you need a quick munchie for guests.
The Chex home page says that the recipe has been around for over 50 years, which is even longer than I've been cooking. I don't feel too bad posting the recipe, as it's available on only 455850404756 other sites across the Intarwebs.

Of course, a few notes:
In our vegan household, you'll notice a slightly different recipe.

First of all, some people new to veganism may not be aware... Worcestershire sauce (a key seasoning in Chex Party Mix) has anchovies in it. Yes, anchovies are (were) little fish and therefor not vegan.

However, there is an easy solution. Vegan Worcestershire Sauce!! But you don't need a special trip to the health food store (though they DO have it there too) - several grocery store varieties are actually vegan, as well as several from Asian markets.

Just so you know - The Kroger Brand (available at Kroger and Fred Meyer) and "Food Time" store brands are vegan. Kroger has "natural flavorings" but further investigation (writing the company) has found that those "natural flavorings" are "all plant-based flavorings including extracts of soy, onion and garlic". And it's about a dollar a bottle compared to those fishy name-brands... You can always use soy-sauce too.

I also use margarine instead of butter and generic cereal squares, rather than actual "Chex" (since I'm cheap that way), raw nuts and usually some dried fruit as well. The sweet-salty combo is AH-mazing! It's also a great way to use up bits of cereal of other varieties. Cheerio-type shapes or whatever you want. Play with the seasonings if you dare. A bit of cayenne spices it up or even some Chinese-5-spice, especially if you are using the soysauce. Here's a double recipe, since we make enough so there's enough to share with pretty much everyone on the planet!

Tofu Mom's "Chex-type" Party Mix

6 cups Corn Chex-type cereal
6 cups Rice Chex-type cereal
6 cups Wheat Chex-type cereal
2 cup nuts
(I use pecans and almonds and add these after it's toasted, so I can use raw nuts, which I prefer... SOMETIMES, I add Wasabi peas too! Yum!)
2 cups bite-size pretzels
2 cups garlic-flavor bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
(or pita chips, which are easier to find vegan - or skip these altogether, they're a "new" addition to the recipe)
1 - 2 cups dried fruit of your choice: (raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, chopped, dried apples, etc.)
10 tablespoons margarine (yes, I know, but you're making an entire VAT of the stuff, so relax! You can also use olive oil and go for an "Italian" type mix with some garlic and herbs...)
4 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons seasoned salt or less, to taste
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

The original recipe includes Corn Chex, Rice Chex and Wheat Chex. You can mix and match and add whatever cereal, to suit your taste—just use a total of 18 cups of cereal.
Heat oven to 250°F.

In large bowl, mix cereals, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside.

In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in cereal mixture until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Add dried fruit and nuts while still warm from the oven. Stir well. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.


VeggieGirl said...

Classic snack!!

aTxVegn said...

I love these types of snacks for gift giving and this looks wonderful! It will be perfect for office holiday gifts. Thanks for the recipe.

Virginia said...

i tagged you for an award! =P

Melinda said...

Worcestershire sauce is not vegan? I had no idea!

B36Kitchen said...

Thanks for posting the recipe! I haven't eaten this stuff in ages!

Carrie said...

Yum - this looks great!

Jen said...

i'm so psyched that kroger worchestershire sauce is vegan! thanks for writing the company tofu mom. now i can have chex mix again!

River said...

This looks fantastic! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

Manda said...

in the photo it looks like there are chickpea nuts in there, and now I will not rest until I've made chex mix with exactly that.

Thanks for the recipe, this looks so yummy!

Brooke said...

That's a great idea to put dried fruit in the mix, I will have to try it that way!

Bethany said...

dried fruit - what an awesome idea. I haven't had chex mix in forever. makes me hungry just looking at your pic.

for some reason, I always think of lay's or wise (back east brand) of potato chips, onion dip and eggnog when I think of the holidays. My parents always let us kids have this as a treat on xmas eve.

Anonymous said...

Kroger! Awesome. Hubby really missed having Worcestershire sauce to flavor things with and hooray it's cheap too. I just couldn't bear to spend $4 or more on a tiny bottle at Whole Foods.