Gosh, I can’t believe the results of the election. I am just so disappointed in the United States for making such a dumb vote. No really. I think anyone who voted for Trump over Hillary is an idiot who has no idea how the government, economy, and budgeting works. Period. If you are hiring a person to work, who would you hire? The person with zero skill sets and wasn’t very good at his previous job, or the highly qualified person? I think the thing that scares me the most is what this election symbolizes. I have a very bad feeling there will be a huge rise in hate crimes. I don’t think the government will fail and crumble, but I do think there will be some damage to a lot of human rights movements, the economy, and our government budget.
The saddest part is that I was getting many phone calls from Philadelphia asking if I voted yet. I was once registered in Pennsylvania when I was going to school at UArts. It was exciting to know my vote counted in a swing state. It helped elect president Obama. It felt awesome. And it is sad thinking that I have a voicemail from a woman asking if I could walk around the corner to vote, when I wasn’t registered to vote in that state. Yes, I am happy and proud that Clinton did so well in the state of New Jersey, but it is so depressing that my vote isn’t counting more. If we are lucky there will be a strong movement to change the electoral voting system.
But I think it is important to keep on moving, so let’s talk about these Kimchi Nacho Tots. I thought about this dish after Olives For Dinner made some gochujang queso. Many people who eat Korean food might think cheese + gochujang seems like a mistake. But it is a pretty awesome combo. Making a platter similar to nachos with tater tots is a pretty American meal. But I prefer midwest method of making a bubbly casserole with the tater tots.
I like to eat these with some corn tortilla chips, lettuce, salsa, and korean pickles. Having the mix of soft melty cheese and potato and crunch cold textures is a match made in heaven. The recipe is pretty customizable, just keep things either tex-mex or asian inspired. Don’t want black beans? Try tofu or beef crumbles. Ran out of salsa? Try making some quick cucumber pickles with rice vinegar and sesame oil.
For this recipe I used Daiya for the cheesy sauce. I don’t normally using fake cheese in this sort of way, but I ran out of nutritional yeast (oh no!) So this was a lot more rich than what I was use to. You can pick whatever cheese you want, but try and pick one similar to cheddar or monterey jack and it make sure it can melt. If it still isn’t your thing, feel free to use nutritional yeast. No biggie.
As for gochujang, it is an important part of the dish. It is a fermented chili paste that is popular in Korean cooking. The taste is pretty unique compared to other chili pastes out there. Luckily it is becoming increasingly more common place in groceries stores so you can grab some. If you live near a Korean or Asian food market you might be able to find MANY different kinds of gochujang. You can even pick from heat levels. If you don’t like hot, I suggest trying to get a mild version and using the max amount. If not, just cut down on the amount.
If you still can’t find any gochujang, I recommend checking out my cheater’s gochujang recipe, that I listed below. It still uses Korean pepper, but that is much cheaper to get from Amazon online than a bottle of paste.
- 3 cups unsweetened plant milk
- 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked for 2 hours and drained
- 3 tbsp rolled oats
- 2 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tsp granulated onion
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2-4 tbsp gochujang
- 1 cup vegan cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 bell green pepper
- 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
- 2lb frozen potato tots, thawed (or homemade)
- 1 cup black or adzuki beans
- 1 cup chopped cabbage kimchi
- 1 cup cubed tofu
- 1 cup faux meat
- 1 cup ground TVP
- chopped tomatoes
- various korean pickles
- chopped lettuce
- corn tortilla chips
- chopped tomatoes
1Preheat oven to 400°F. Take a 13x9 casserole dish and grease up with shortening or oil. 2In a pot heat the oil up. Add the onion and chopped bell peppers and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. 3In a large bowl, add the sautéd veggies and potato tots. 4In a blender, blend all the ingredients for the nacho sauce except for the cheese. Pour the liquid into the pot used for sautéing the veggies. Add the cheese, chopped or shredded, and cook. Whisk the mixture until the cheese is melted in and the consistency thickens up, 5 to 10 minutes. 5Add the cheese sauce the bowl, carefully mixing until fully all tots are covered evenly. 6Place dish into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. 7After 20 minutes, take the casserole out, and add 2 or 3 different topping choices to the casserole. I suggest going with the beans and kimchi. Place back in the oven for 7-10 minutes. 8Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Eat with a side of chips, fresh veggies, and korean pickles.
- 1/4 cup miso
- 4 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tsp-1 tbsp korean chili powder
- Stir all ingredients together until combined
- If you can't find korean chili powder you can use 1/2-2 tsp of cayenne powder