Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chex Party Mix Goes Vegan!

While the rest of the world defrosts turkeys and stuffs their giblets (or whatever you do with whatever they are...), the Fairly Odd Vegan family participates in their own time-honored Night-Before-Thanksgiving tradition...

The making of "Chex-type" Party Mix. Our family's very own version that is both vegetarian (no anchovies on OUR Worcestershire sauce) and vegan (no butter).

If you're not familiar with this savory-salty-crunchy-snacky mix of cereal squares, nuts, pretzels and other goodies, you owe it to yourself to try it! And trust me, homemade is WAY better than that stuff in the bag at the supermarket and YOU control the ingredients!!

The Chex home page says that the recipe has been around for over 50 years, which is even longer than I've been cooking, and I don't feel too bad posting my version of the recipe, as the original is available on only 455850404756 other sites across the Intarwebs.

Of course, a few notes:
In our vegan household, you'll notice we definitely have a 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, I have an easy solution. Vegan Worcestershire Sauce!! And you likely won't even need a special trip to the health food store (though they DO have it there too) - several grocery store varieties are actually vegan, (try Kroger, Price-Mart and FoodTime) as well as some brands stocked in Asian markets.

Kroger has "natural flavorings" but further investigation (writing the company) 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.

Can't find Worcestershire? You can always use soy-sauce too.

To further stray from the "original", I also use margarine instead of butter.

And finally, it's hardly "Chex" mix any more, because we use whole-grain cereal squares (usually from Trader Joes), rather than actual "Chex"-brand, raw nuts and usually some dried fruit as well.

The sweet-salty combo is AHhh-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, curry or even some Chinese-5-spice, especially if you are using the soysauce.
Here's a double recipe, since we make enough to share with pretty much everyone on the planet!

Fairly Odd 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
  • - - (or same amount of whatever type cereal you want, though "flakes" don't work so well here, trust me)
  • 2 cup nuts (I use pecans and almonds and add these after it's toasted, so I can use raw nuts. Sometimes, we add Wasabi peas too! Yum!)
  • 2 cups bite-size or broken 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 or part sesame oil for an Asian touch...)
  • 4 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce or 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt or less, to taste
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon onion powder OR other seasonings as you prefer

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 margarine 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 if you have any left.


Angel said...

I'll have to make this sometime. Thank you for sharing! :o) Happy Thanksgiving!

Kelly said...

I've got to invest in some vegan Worcestershire sauce! Thanks for the recipe & happy Thanksgiving! :)

miley said...

ugh! i just found out worcestershire sauce contains anchovies! :( my mom's making some & i wish i could have it.

k's mumbo jumbo said...

For me, the holidays mean Chex Mix. Thank you for this! I look forward to having that around this year.
Happy Thanksgiving

Debra said...

Happy Thanksgiving!
Debra @ Vegan Family Style
ps check out the cookbook giveaway on my blog

kelli said...

yum yum!

Carolyn said...

T-Mom, this is too cool for school. I was never a serious Chex Mix fan to start out with, though lord knows I've eaten more than my share of junky snacks. This one is going to the next family event (did someone say SuperBowl?)