Potato Casserole

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound of hashbrowns (or shredded potatoes, see notes/tips below)
  • 8-10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (or even finely diced)
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
  • dried parsley flakes (to be sprinkled on top)

Cheezy Sauce:

  • 2 cups plant-based milk
  • ½ cup raw cashews (or use 1/4 cup of cashew flour)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch**
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to your taste preferences)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

**Try to find a NON-GMO cornstarch

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Saute the mushrooms and onions in a bit of water/broth over medium-high heat until tender the onions become translucent and caramelized. Add water/broth as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Combine the “cheeze” ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Taste to make sure it’s to your liking.
  4. Pour half of the blended cheese sauce into the bowl of hash browns and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Begin to add layers: “cheeze” sauce, potatoes, onions & mushrooms, chopped spinach. Make two layers and top it all off with “cheeze” sauce.
  6. I like to top with more parchment paper (but this is optional) bake for 30 minutes, and then remove the top so that it can brown and the sauce can thicken. (Or you can simply bake uncovered in the oven.)
  7. Sprinkle with dried parsley.

NOTES/TIPS

  • I think the onions are the star of this dish that adds the most flavor. I like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar to help with the caramelization of the onions. (You can use any vinegar you have for cooking.)
  • I like to salt and pepper the potatoes as I layer them.
  • Taste your “cheeze” sauce prior to using it in the dish so that you can make adjustments to suit your taste buds.
  • Look for organic potatoes to avoid added ingredients and preservatives.
  • If shredding your own potatoes, make sure to dry them well – using a kitchen towel or paper towels.
  • I’ve also used sliced potatoes to make this recipe. Use a mandoline slicer for best results
  • This recipe is originally from https://www.plantpurenation.com/blogs/recipes/breakfast-potato-casserole

“Cheezey ” Tortilla Tex-Mex Casserole

CheezeyCasserole

The first night I ever made this “cheeze” sauce, I immediately knew I had to try using it in a Tex-Mex Casserole.

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla chips (or you can use flour or corn tortillas to replace the layers of chips)
  • “Cheeze” sauce (See the recipe.)
  • Cooked onions and bell peppers (about 1/2 each item), or any other vegetable you would like – remember to season your vegetables
  • Your favorite bottled salsa (or home-made)
  • Cooked brown rice

Directions:

Layer the casserole as follows:

  1. Tortilla Chips, crushed
  2. “Cheeze”
  3. Onions and Bell Peppers
  4. A few dollops of salsa
  5. A mixture of black beans and pinto beans
  6. Brown rice
  7. (Repeat 1 – 6 again)
  8. Top with a layer of “cheeze” that has been thinned using a bit of salsa and water/broth
  9. Cover and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F until warmed through.

Serve with a side of veggies and don’t forget the guacamole and/or pico de gallo. Enjoy!

 

Tex-Mex Casserole – No Cheese Needed

Do you think it would be impossible to make a casserole, a Tex-Mex Casserole without cheese? Well, let me show you how I did it for this recipe.

I chose corn tortillas to keep the recipe wheat-free (aka gluten-free).
And guess what? If you have someone that just loves cheese, they can top their serving with the cheese of their choice (…even vegan cheese 🙂

Alternative to cheese, but creamy?  Add avocado, guacamole or this cashew cilantro cream sauce.  

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 cups freshly diced)
  • 1 15 oz can of pinto beans (or 2 cups home-cooked), rinsed
  • 1 15 oz of black beans (or 2 cups of home-cooked), rinsed *
  • 1/4 bell pepper (any color)
  • 1 small onion
  • 8 ounces of your favorite salsa
  • 1 15 oz can (2 cups) of enchilada sauce (or see homemade recipe below)
  • 6 corn tortillas (or flour)
Directions:
  1. Cook onions and bell pepper.  If using ground meat add at this step too.
  2. Add other ingredients except for the enchilada sauce and tortillas, mix together.
  3. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 casserole dish. 
  4. Tear (or cut) the 2 tortillas into smaller sizes and place on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Layer 1/3 of the filling over the tortillas.
  6. Try to repeat steps 4 and 5 twice, but it doesn’t have to be that structured.
  7. Mix the enchilada sauce and thickener of choice together and pour over the casserole.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 20  – 30 minutes, until bubbly and sauce has thickened.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TB red wine vinegar (really almost any vinegar can be substituted here)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (or 2 Roma tomatoes)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (or even Italian herb spices)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 – 2 TBS chili powder (or TACO Seasoning works well too)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 – 2 slices of jalapenos for added flavor
  • 1 TBS of thickener (tapioca, potato starch, gluten free flour or cornstarch -organic/Non-GMO please)
Directions: Place all ingredients into blender and blend well. You can  also add a tablespoon of thickener at this point for easy mix-in.

Served topped with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Zucchini and Vegetable Lasagna (Dairy Free and Grain Free)

plant-based lasagna

Lasagna, a classic favorite, right?

I used sliced zucchini in place of the noodles and created my own version of cashew cream sauce in place of cheese.  Update on 01-16-2020: I recently made this recipe again and I added tofu”ricotta” in addition to the cashew cream sauce that’s already included in the recipe. YUM!

I prepared this in a small 5 x 7 casserole dish. Makes 2 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium-size zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 2 – 3 carrots, shredded or sliced
  • 1/4 of colorful bell peppers, chopped
  • 5 – 6 dehydrated tomato slices (my preference) or sun-dried tomatoes
  • 15 ounce pasta sauce from a jar or make your own (See “Really Quick Pasta Sauce” option below.)
  • 1 cup of cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes and no longer than 30 would be ideal
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 fresh sprigs of parsley or 1/2 TBS dried parsley
  • garlic and onion powders, 1/8 tsp or less of each
  • Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Other optional ingredients:  yellow squash, mushrooms, grilled onions, etc

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Create cashew sauce by pureeing drained cashews with lemon juice, herbs, and spices. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper also. I would start with 1/4 tsp of salt. You can add a little water (or stock) if needed to thin. Set aside.
  3. Using a mandolin slicer, slice the zucchini lengthwise.
  4. Spread a small amount of pasta sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  5. Create layers with zucchini, cashew sauce, vegetables, pasta sauce then repeat again and end with zucchini and pasta sauce.
  6. Cover with parchment paper, oven-safe lid, or covering of your choice and bake for about 30 minutes.
  7. Top with fresh herbs like parsley or basil and serve.

A Really Quick Pasta Sauce: 

This is a pasta sauce that I would use to create pizza sauce, but it was very handy when I needed a sauce for this dish and I didn’t have much time.

Using a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix), blend the following ingredients:

  • 6 oz can of tomato paste, 
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • 1/2 cup of water (or stock)
  • 1 clove of garlic, 
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 TBS coconut sugar (or another sweetener of your choice).

TIP: Add this tofu “ricotta” to the layers to mimic a more traditional lasagna.