Monthly Archives: January 2012

Nan’s Broccoli Casserole


Certain recipes always remind us of particular people. This casserole will always be my grandmother’s. It is a variation on a veggie pie she made once, and as she’s gotten older, we have taken over preparing it for her on all our visits.  It’s a flexible recipe – sometimes we use the Daiya, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes there are more or less carrots or peppers or – well, you get the idea. Being a casserole the recipe will forgive amounts being slightly varied. Just be sure everything is cooked through on the stovetop, as the oven step is really just for browning the top.

Nan’s Broccoli Casserole

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tbl. olive oil

1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, sliced (we like baby bellas in this)

1 cup carrots, shredded

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

1 15-oz. can tomato sauce

1 Tbl. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1 cup cheddar Daiya (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Tabasco sauce to serve

Preheat oven to 350.

Saute onions and garlic in oil until soft. Add broccoli, celery, mushrooms, carrots and green pepper. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes on medium heat until veggies reduce. Add water as needed to keep from sticking.

When veggies are soft, add dried herbs and tomato sauce and simmer another 5-10 minutes to combine flavors.

Pour into casserole dish and top with cheddar Daiya. Bake in oven, covered, for 10-15 minutes until Daiya is melty and top is lightly toasted.

Serve immediately while hot and gooey. Season to taste with Tabasco sauce and more oregano or basil.

Chef’s note: Sometimes, we add a handful (about 1/2 cup) dried breadcrumbs in with the Daiya topping or instead of the Daiya, just to mix it up. The breadcrumbs add a fun crunch. This recipe can also be made in a pre-baked whole wheat pie shell instead of as a casserole for an equally awesome supper.

Bmore-style Veggie Hoppin’ John


We have this philosophy: Better late than never. So we were traveling over New Year’s and just after, and we missed the traditional Hoppin’ John – ie, black eye peas on the 1st. But we made our version the other night, and it was still delicious. Our Hoppin’ John has a little Bmore-style: we season it with Old Bay. Here’s to your 2012 – however and whenever you celebrated!

Bmore -style Veggie Hoppin’ John

1 cup dry black eye peas

1 cup veggie broth

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper

1  14 oz.-can diced tomatoes

1 leeks, white part chopped and cleaned

1 purple onion, diced

7 cloves garlic, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 Tbl. fresh sage, chopped

2 tsp. Old Bay

1 or 2 cups additional veggie broth, as needed.

In a small-size slow cooker, add dry beans, broth, bay leaves and salt/pepper. Cook on low until beans are soft, about 6 hours. You can even do this overnight or while you run errands.  When the beans are done, remove bay leaves.

In a large soup pot, add finished beans to tomatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, celery, sage and Old Bay. If the mixture seems too dry, add one or two more cups of veggie broth. Cook over low heat for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are soft and flavors have combined.

Serve warm with your favorite bread. Wanna be traditional? Go with cornbread and a side of greens.

Happy 2012!

Cook’s Notes: Don’t want to cook beans? No problemo.  Use a 14 oz. can of pre-cooked black eye peas. Be sure to rinse them and just pick up by adding all the veggies and follow the recipe from there.