I’m super excited to be hosting Julie Hasson on her Vegan Casseroles blog tour today! She’s here with a recipe from the book and an exciting giveaway!
The word “casserole” makes me think of my childhood. My brain conjures up images of wood-paneled station wagons pulling up in front of homes decorated in macramé with floral corningware dishes baking in avocado green ovens. I don’t think we had a wood-paneled station wagon, macramé, or an avocado green oven, so it’s possible that I’m remembering an episode of The Brady Bunch. In my brain, casseroles weren’t very fashionable food-wise for a decade or so (it could just be that I reached an age where I refused to eat them), but they’re back, baby! Casseroles are now a cold-weather mainstay in my house, as they tend to be warm and comforting. They’re also perfect for taking along to potlucks, dinner parties, holidays when you might not be sure if there will be anything vegan on offer.
Vegan Casseroles is full of, you guessed, tons of recipes for vegan casseroles. Julie has created vegan recipes for just about every type of food that can be baked in a casserole dish, from Mac and Cheese and Taco Casserole to Shepherds Pie and Eggplant Parm. There are recipes for lasagna, quiche, enchiladas, kugels, cornbread casseroles, and even desserts “casseroles” such as crisps, crumbles, and puddings. There’s a chapter devoted to sauces, toppings, and basics, making it easy to create your own casserole based on Julie’s recipes. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the dishes I’ve made from Vegan Casseroles so far, which include the comforting Rice and Broccoli Casserole; the spicy Bean and Rice Casserole (I accidentally made too much rice and had to use it up somehow!); Baked Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce, which is perfect for this time of year; and the Cranberry Apple Crumble, which was the perfect dish to use up some of the apples from my apple picking trip a few weeks ago. I have ton more recipes bookmarked, and I know I’ll be cooking with Vegan Casseroles quite often in the cold months to come.
To celebrate the release of Vegan Casseroles, Julie has a chance for one lucky person to win a Breville Smart Oven! Five runners up will receive a copy of Vegan Casseroles. Follow the instructions at the bottom of the post to enter.
One of my favorite dishes growing up was creamed spinach. I haven’t had the dairy version in years, but this is a perfect re-creation, with a combination of baby kale, chard, and spinach, bathed in a creamy cashew sauce. I adapted the original recipe from Whole Foods Market. Feel free to substitute chopped kale for the baby greens blend.
Serves 2 to 4 as a side
- 1 cup plain unsweetened soymilk or other nondairy milk
- 1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 6 cups mixed baby greens (such as kale, chard, and spinach) or chopped kale or other dark, leafy green
In a blender, add the soymilk, cashews, nutritional yeast, granulated onion, and miso and purée until smooth and silky.
Heat the oil in a large, nonreactive skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until they just turn golden. Add the cashew cream mixture to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Stir in the greens, folding them into the sauce until they begin to wilt. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little bit of water.
Tip: If you’re using a high-speed blender, you can skip the soaking step for the cashews and just use them dry. Add a little extra water to blend if needed.
Reprinted with permission from VEGAN CASSEROLES © 2014 by Julie Hasson, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
Follow the instructions below for a chance to win a Breville Smart Oven. Five runners up with win copies of Vegan Casseroles. U.S. residents only, please. Contest ends on November 12th. Good luck!