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Archive for the ‘casseroles’ Category

I’m not sure if this is supposed to look a little prettier, but it sure tasted excellent. I always loved those tater tots as a kid, and I thought it was a novel idea to use them as the topping in a shepherd’s pie. My taste-testers heartily agreed. Gone in one dinner and one late night snacking.

Tater-tot shepherd’s pie (from Rachael Ray, with a few adaptations by me)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds ground turkey breast

2 medium onions, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 fresh bay leaves

salt and pepper

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons margarine

2 rounded tablespoons flour

1/2 cup apple cider

2 cups chicken stock or broth

1 cup watercress leaves, chopped

1 1/2 cups shredded soy cheddar cheese

1 bag frozen tater tots

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the toil. When it ripples, add the turkey and brown well, stirring occasionally. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften the vegetables, 10 – 12 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and reduce the heat to simmer.

In a small skillet, melt the margarine over medium heat. Whisk in the flour; cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the cider. Reduce by half, then whisk in the broth and thicken to a loose gravy.

Place the meat and vegetables in a casserole dish and stir in the watercress and gravy. Top with the soy cheese and tater tots, then bake until the tots are golden and crispy on top. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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I just love spaghetti crusts. For this dish, I used a whole-grain spaghetti, which I believe added a lot of wholesomeness to it. It was kinda fun to eat spaghetti with southwest flavors; so different from the familiar Italian ones. I hope this photo conveys the “crust” formed by the spaghetti.

Sante Fe spaghetti pie (from the Family Health Cookbook, with nondairy adaptations by me)

vegetable oil spray

3 cups cooked spaghetti (1/2 pound uncooked)

2 egg whites

1/2 cup almond milk

2 tablespoons grated soy parmesan

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 large onion, chopped

1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 small fresh jalapeno pepper, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

1 16-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups grated soy Jack or cheddar cheese

Lightly coat a 9 x 12″ baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Cook raw spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg white with the almond milk until frothy, then stir in the hot pasta and soy parmesan cheese. Spread the pasta over the bottom and halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and cook the turkey, onion, and green pepper, stirring often over medium heat, until the turkey is white and the vegetables are softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno pepper, and chili powder, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cumin, oregano, cayenne, tomato sauce, and beans. Spread the mixture over the pasta crust. Sprinkle the soy Jack cheese evenly over the filling. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, and the casserole is bubbly, about 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve. Makes 8 servings.

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I’m not sure my photos did this dish justice, but it sure was tasty. I meant to post this one sooner, but this is a great dish for the turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving. Thanks to Kalyn’s Kitchen for the inspiration.

Brown rice casserole with leftover turkey (adapted to be nondairy; modified slightly, too)

2 cups cooked brown rice

16 ounces asparagus, chopped

2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil (or more, depending on your pan)

1 onion, diced into small pieces

2 teaspoons ground thyme

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 1/2 – 2 cups diced leftover turkey, cut into 1/2″ dice

1/2 cup turkey stock or chicken stock

1/2 cup soy sour cream

1/2 cup coarsely grated soy parmesan

1 1/2 cup grated soy cheese

Cook brown rice following package instructions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in heavy non-stick pan and saute asparagus until bright green and still slightly crunchy. Remove to a dish.

In same frying pan, add 1 teaspoon more olive oil and heat, then add onions and saute 3 – 4 minutes until onions are softened. Add thyme, ground poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper, and saute about 2 minutes more.

When onions cook, dice leftover turkey. Add asparagus and diced turkey into pan with the onion-herb mixture, and stir to combine. Add rice and gently stir until all the meat and vegetables are evenly distributed in the rice.

In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and chicken stock, then stir in the grated parmesan and 1 cup soy cheese. Gently stir the sour cream mixture into the rice mixture.

Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spoon rice mixture into the casserole dish and pres down to evenly distribute. Bake for 25 minutes, or until casserole is slightly bubbling and barely starting to brown. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated soy cheese and bake about 15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Makes 6 servings.

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Macaroni and cheese is some of the best comfort food I know, and also one of the dishes I missed the most when I had to cut dairy out of my diet. I’ve tried my hand before at mac and cheese here and here, and I was quite pleased with the results. But I think that today’s recipe, from Williams-Sonoma, probably tops them all. It’s a very grown-up mac and cheese, with browned bits of pancetta and cauliflower in it, and a crispy breadcrumb crust. I am quite sure that Fontina and Gouda cheeses, as listed in the original recipe, make this dish special. But I used a mix of soy cheddar and soy mozzarella, and this dish gets 5 stars.

Cauliflower macaroni and cheese (with my nondairy adaptations)

3 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs

2 tablespoons margarine, melted

1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

8 ounces pancetta, diced

1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, cut into 1/2″ florets

3 tablespoons margarine

1/4 cup AP flour

2 tablespoons white wine

3 cups almond milk

2 cups shredded soy mozzarella cheese

2 cups shredded soy cheddar cheese

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup nondairy creamer

1 pound macaroni, cooked until al dente

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, melted margarine, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crispy, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and reserve the fat in the pot. Working in batches, add the cauliflower to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelized, 10 – 12 minutes per batch, adding a little margarine to the pot if needed. Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water to the pot and stir to scrape up the browned bits. Add to the bowl with the cauliflower. Wash out the pot.

In the same pot over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the wine and almond milk and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the cheeses, cayenne, nutmeg, and cream. Stir until melted. Salt and pepper according to taste. Then stir in the pasta, pancetta, and cauliflower. Transfer to a large baking pan or dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and cook until the breadcrumbs are crispy and brown, 4 – 5 minutes. Serves 10 – 12.


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Best. Ziti. Ever.

Baked ziti (from Williams-Sonoma, with my nondairy adaptations)

4 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed

1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 28-ounce can crushed plum tomatoes with juices

8 ounces ziti, cooled until al dente

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup rinsed chopped kalamata olives

2 cups shredded soy mozzarella cheese

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup grated soy parmesan

Position rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

In a 10″ nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Discard all the 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and warm 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Set the pan over medium heat and warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 – 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minutes. Add the wine; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up the browned bits. Cook until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add the sausage, pasta, basil, olives, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella and the tomato sauce to the bowl with the eggplant and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 9 x 13″ baking pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and the soy parmesan. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover the pan and broil at 500 degrees F fr 5 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

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I love autumn. And one of the reasons is the cooking. After a summer of salad and lighter fare, it is so satisfying to eat warm, comforting dishes, especially on these chilly days and evenings. I found this recipe on The Stone Soup blog. This is described as a “minimalist” recipe – only 5 ingredients! But with my modification, make that 6 ingredients (I added chicken to an originally vegetarian dish). I also subbed soy cheese for the real thing. No words – just mmmmmm!

(I looked up the definition of panade, since I never heard of it before. On the Stone Soup’s site, this recipe is called a pandade, but I could not find the meaning of that word anywhere. A panade, on the other hand, is described as a paste with the consistency of a very moist dough. It’s also described as a soup that your spoon can stand up in! Although this is not served as a soup, I could easily see turning it into one. I’ll be making more panades, no doubt about it.)

Onion panade (with balsamic grilled chicken)

4 large brown onions

1/2 bunch thyme, leaves picked

1/2 medium loaf rustic bread, torn into chunks

5 ounces grated soy cheese

1 bonless balsamic grilled chicken breast (from Trader Joe’s), cut into bite-sizes – or any kind of cooked chicken

3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut onion in half lengthwise. Peel, then slice into half moons about 1/4″ thick. Heat 4 – 5 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown. Stir in the thyme.

In a medium heatproof dish layer about a third of the onions. Sprinkle over some of the bread, chicken, and cheese. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used. You want to be able to see a little of each on the top.

Bring stock to a simmer. Pour over the onion dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 20 – 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and crunchy and the stock has been absorbed by the bread. Makes 4 servings.

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I took the liberty of using soy meat as a substitution for what this recipe originally called for – lamb. We’re not big meat eaters, so this seemed like a good idea. It worked very nicely, and this dish really has some great flavors working for it. A very satisfying dish for autumn.

Baked orzo with soy meat (adapted from Healthy. Delicious)

8 ounces orzo

1 onion, diced

1/2 fennel bulb, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 beefsteak tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup red wine

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 package soy ground meat

2 cups baby spinach

3 ounces soy mozzarella, shredded

1 ounce soy parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Add the onion, fennel, and garlic to a large skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened and golden brown. Add the oregano, tomatoes, wine, cumin, cinnamon, and tomato paste. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have cooked down into a thick sauce. Add the soy meat, spinach, and mozzarella. Stir until the spinach has wilted. Stir in the prepared orzo.

Spoon mixture into a 3 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted and the sauce is bubbling hot. Serves 6.

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This stew is rich in color and flavor. I just love how it all goes into the crockpot and 6 hours later – the most wonderful hearty delectable dish. We’re not big on beef in this house, so I simply used chicken breast instead. It’s a long ingredient list, but it all dumps into the crockpot quite easily.

Moroccan chicken stew (inspired and adapted from Alice in Paris loves Art and Tea)

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup AP flour

1 large red onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 parship, chopped

1 sweet potato, chopped

1/2 small butternut squash, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 28-ounce can tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garam masala

pinch of allspice

pinch of nutmeg

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup each dried apricots and pitted prunes (optional). add with veggies

chopped fresh parsley

slivered almonds

Toss chicken with the flour in slow cooker.

Add all veggies, tomatoes, spices, broth – stir

Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 – 6 hours or until chicken is cooked and veggies tender.

Top with slivered almonds and chopped parsley. Serve over couscous, rice or mashed potatoes. Makes 8 servings.

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I found this original recipe on Cook’s Illustrated and made a perfectly adapted nondairy version. This is extra easy to make after work with already-cooked chicken breasts.

Tortilla Casserole (my version)

2 cups cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced chipotle pepper

1 cup chicken broth

4 cups tortilla chips, broken into pieces

1 tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped

4 ounces shredded soy cheddar (1 cup)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat olive oil in 10″ skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and chipotle. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a simmer.

Stir in the tortilla chips, chicken, tomato, 1/2 of the cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the cilantro. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and broil until the cheese is melted and browning, 2-3 minutes. Top with remaining cilantro and serve, allowing casserole to cool 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

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Roasting the vegetables first gives this pasta dish deeper flavors. Great for these cooler fall days.

Ziti with roasted potatoes, tomatoes, and leeks (modified from AMA Family Health Cookbook)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 pound red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4″ cubes

1/2 pound plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ slices

2 leeks, white and light green parts, cut into 1/2″ slices

1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary

1 14.5 ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 dry white wine

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound ziti

4 ounces shredded soy mozzarella

1/4 cup soy parmesan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pour the olive oil into a 9×13″ baking dish. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, and leeks. Toss to coat the vegetables with the oil, then spread them out to cover the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the rosemary. Roast the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until just tender and lightly colored, about 15-20 minutes. Add the stewed tomatoes, broth, wine, salt, and pepper and stir gently to mix. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake, uncovered, until the sauce is slightly reduced and the vegetables are tender, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain well. Stir the pasta into the sauce. Sprinkle with both cheeses. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15 minutes longer. Makes 6 servings.

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