For some reason I was having a very intense craving for casserole. I wanted to eat something that was baked in cheesy goodness and that I could scoop out of my baking dish and onto a plate. I know it’s summer and casseroles aren’t summer food but I was jonesing for it in a major way. I also wanted to try my hand at making something totally vegan. I’m not vegan but a lot of my friends are and so I thought I’d see if I could make something that satisfied this nagging craving and also helped me learn a little more about cooking vegan.
I chose the kale, zucchini and broccoli for the casserole because they seemed like willing participants. I also got thyme in my FarmBox so I had some aromatics on hand.
They are so pretty all chopped up aren’t they? Next, I had to make the “cheese”, which is really just a cashew nut sauce. I didn’t feel like buying a whole bunch of other new ingredients so I came up with my own recipe that I figured would work. And man oh man did it. I tasted the cheese sauce after it came out of the blender and I swear I could have drank it all right then and there. So good. SO GOOD.
I also decided to add some quinoa to give it a little extra texture and heartyness. I didn’t want to be starving 30 minutes after eating this.
Poured it all into my beautiful baking dish and then into the oven it went!
I was so anxious and excited to try it when it came out of the oven that I burned the shit out of my tongue on a bite that was just too damn hot. I impatiently waited for it to cool and then tried it again. It was exactly what I had wanted. It was cheesy, savory, delicious. The vegetables held their own and the quinoa added a nice texture and flavor. The “cheese” bound everything together perfectly. I will definitely be making this again.
Adapted from My Brain!!
- 2/3 cup of onion chopped
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets and stems cut into thin slices
- 1 bunch of kale, ribs removed, chopped
- 2 summer squash, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick on the bias
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 cup of quinoa (I used the tri color mix but you can use whatever you have in your pantry… that’s what I did)
- 2 cups of raw cashew meats
- 2 cups of water
- 2 Tablespoons light miso paste
- 2 Tablespoons tahini
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup of nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- Rinse quinoa in water until it runs clear and then put it in a bowl covered with water to soak for at least 20 minutes.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Throw in onion and cook until soft and starting to caramelize.
- Add chopped kale to onions in pan and cook until wilted then remove from heat.
- In a separate pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add chopped broccoli. Saute until the color has brightened and the stalks are crisp tender then remove from heat.
- In a blender or food processor add cashews and blend until they are mealy. Then add water, miso, tahini, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, garlic cloves, turmeric, paprika, and oregano. Blend until it is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the salt as needed.
- Put all the veggies into a bowl and add the soaked quinoa (drain it first). Mix well and then add the cheese sauce and thyme. Mix again so that all of the veggies are coated in cheese sauce and thyme.
- Pour the veggie mixture into a casserole dish and bake at 450 degrees for 45 minutes.