Haystacks! The ultimate one-dish meal!
If you grew up as I did, then Haystacks are a veritable staple on your menu.
The ultimate Vegetarian feast, Haystacks are the easiest meal to whip up for a whole crowd, or just your own family! They go well on picnics and potlucks, and are a completely stress-free meal option.
The BEST thing about Haystacks is the fact that they are ? percent customizable. Everyone gets what they like on a haystack!
This post contains affiliate links for suggestions. Obviously—find what’s local and what works for you
Obviously, if you grew up Adventist, the term Haystacks is as common as sandwich is to most people. However, it occurred to me today, while we were gobbling up our Sabbath meal, that there are actually people out there who have never heard of a haystack.
That actually did something in my brain—I had a difficult time believing it could be true, but a quick web search revealed that almost all Haystacks recipes out there were for making some type of chocolatey chow main noodle cookie!
Virtually every post mentioning the real Haystacks were from people who grew up like me—vegetarian, and church-school attending Adventist people!
The world out there does not know what it is missing!! ?
So are Haystacks just a fancy name for Taco Salad??
But I don’t think so.
Haystacks are not just a meal, they are an experience.
You can eat haystacks alone, but I suspect you rarely will.
Kind of like Chipotle, at home!
Last weekend my son and I ate out at Chipotle. It was yummy, and it struck me that all these people standing in line (and there were a LOT), were basically waiting for a variation of a regular ol’ HAYSTACK!
Ok—so I know that at Chipotle, you can get more than a vegetarian bowl, but the customizable meal, layered over rice and beans, is basically the idea of a haystack! And let me tell you—we’ve been doing haystacks way before Chipotle came around town! (And I actually like them better!).
Haystacks are meant to be shared, and they will GROW on you! In more ways than one!
So, without further hoopla…
Let’s make some HAYSTACKS!!
And you should know that HAYSTACKS are a favorite because you make your just the way you want it! Don’t like onions? Leave them off!
Your haystack, your way! Every.Single.Time
But here’s the basic idea:
Layer on your plate:
- Tortilla chips/Fritos — this is your base. I like organic chips, our kids like the Fritos since they don’t get as soggy.
- Chili beans/black beans. Make your best chili recipe, or use classic ready-made Bush Chili Beans for something quick.
- Vegan cheese shreds/sauce/regular cheese. You can make your own (here’s my recipe in this post), or grab something like Vegan Valley, which is a delicious nacho cashew cheese that our friends make locally!
- Chopped or shredded lettuce
- Chopped tomatoes
- Diced avocado or guacamole
- Salsa— we prefer Herdez since it is delicious and doesn’t contain vinegar.
- Chopped olives
- Cilantro (if you must ? ?)
- Vegan sour cream/,Vegan Mayo, or ranch dressing
- Also yummy: peppers, corn, or diced cucumbers!
The best way to set up for haystacks if to line up these ingredients, in that order, more or less, on a counter or table.
Everyone goes through line and loads up his/her plate!
I’m gonna warn you—a haystack grows!
You’re gonna pile all of those delicious ingredients on you plate, because you’re hungry!
A little of this and a little of that, and suddenly, your plate overfloweth!
That’s just how it goes with haystacks.
Now you have the insider’s scoop on the most familiar comfort food among Seventh-Day Adventists!
Because many Adventists follow a vegetarian, if not vegan diet, for health reasons. And haystacks provide complete protein, plus all the vitamins and minerals that a fresh salad contains.
Plus, haystacks are just.plain.delicious!
Tell me you’ve experienced haystacks before!!?!
If not, what are you waiting for!
Stack ‘em up and DIG IN!!
If you need a simple, inexpensive, delicious recipe for Vegan Cheese Sauce, follow this link for Chef Mark Anthony’s signature recipe.
For more vegan recipes, you can check out my section on vegan cooking, under Home Cooked Goodness