Tag Archives: vegan casserole

Tomato Rice Casserole


Our garden is teeming with tomatoes right now, so we’re piling on the tomato sandwiches, making sauces and even drying them for use this winter. In all the tomato madness, we also came up with this yummy casserole.

The day before a potluck, we were looking at the ingredients we had available and put this together. It was a very particular potluck, too, as the food had to be not only vegan, but also contain no salt, oil or sugar. This style of eating, known as “SOS-WFPB” (meaning no Salt Oil or Sugar -Whole Foods Plant-Based) is often employed to control or prevent serious health matters and is supported by a lot of famous vegan doctors, like the guys in the Forks Over Knives film.

Cooking with no salt, oil or sugar can be a challenge, but we welcome it. With this recipe we used techniques like cooking the rice with sun-dried tomatoes and layering on fresh herbs to really amp up the flavor. That way, you’ll never miss the added salt, oil or sugar. Give this recipe a try; you just can’t miss with fresh, in-season tomatoes!

Tomato Rice Casserole

Tomato Rice Casserole

2 cups brown rice

4 cups water

4 sun-dried tomatoes

2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz. can of whole tomatoes

1 cup Swiss chard, sliced

2 Tbs. fresh basil, fine chiffonade

1 Tbs. fresh oregano, fine chiffonade

2 Tbs. shelled sunflower seeds

2 or 3 sliced fresh tomatoes

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, and add rice and sun-dried tomatoes. Cover and return to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Allow rice to cook, covered, until all water is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.

In another pot, combine canned tomatoes, chickpeas, balsamic vinegar and minced garlic. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken, about 12-15 minutes.

While rice and sauce are cooking, slice Swiss chard and set aside. In a small bowl, combine chiffonade-cut basil and oregano with sunflower seeds. This will be the topping for the casserole.

When rice is done, remove sun-dried tomatoes and slice them into small pieces. Stir sun-dried tomatoes to the sauce. Pour rice into a 9×13 casserole and top with sliced Swiss chard. Layer on the cooked sauce, spreading evenly over the rice and chard. Next, add a layer of sliced fresh tomatoes. Complete by sprinkling the casserole with the herb-sunflower seed topping.  Serve warm.

Feisty Shepherd’s Pie


Comfort food is what it’s all about this time of year. And nothing really says comfort like mashed potatoes. Feisty Shepherd’s Pie is a savory dish, packed with veggies and huge flavor, and topped with dreamy piles of mashed potatoes. We like our with Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles – they add heft as well as a good dose of protein. Oh – and this huge dish is also gluten free! It’s perfect for feeding a crowd on a cold night or using up various leftovers – vegetables, mashers – you get the idea!sheppie2_lr

Feisty Shepherd’s Pie

2 cups onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup green or red pepper, chopped
1 pack Beyond Meat Beefless, Feisty Crumbles
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
3 to 5 cups rinsed and shredded greens (spinach, collards, Swiss chard, etc.)
1 can Manwich (yes, it’s vegan!)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder (or more if you’re really feisty!)
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 cups of mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 350. In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes to wilt and brown. Remove about half of the onions and set aside to use as topping later. Add in mushrooms, carrots and peppers. Cook for 7 to 10 more minutes, until all veggies are soft.

Add Beyond Beef, parsley, greens, Manwich, cumin, chili powder, coriander, nutritional yeast and salt/pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring for about 3 to 5 minutes, until all ingredients are warmed through and combined. Greens will wilt and shrink in size.

Pour Beyond Beef and veggie mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and bake, covered with foil for 20 minutes. Uncover, add sautéd onions as a topping, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Serve warm on a chilly night!sheppie1_lr


Need to make a batch of mashed potatoes? Here’s a recipe we like…
5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 Tlb. vegan margarine ( we used Earth Balance)
1 cup unsweetened, plain almond milk
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes in a large pot over high heat about 15 to 20 minutes, until soft and mushy when pierced with a fork. Drain water off potatoes and pour into a large mixing bowl. Be careful, they will be hot! Add margarine, almond milk, garlic powder and salt/pepper. Using a hand mixer or a potato masher or large fork, smash up the potatoes until they are your preferred texture. The longer you mash them, the smoother they will be; if you like them lumper, don’t mush them too much!

Creamy Butternut Squash Lasagna


Show off.

Yes, it’s okay. You can show off to your non-vegan friends with this recipe. It’s creamy, it’s decadent. It’s entirely plant-based and easily gluten-free. And did we mention – it’s also freaking delicious?

Our Creamy Butternut Squash Lasagna relies on cashews, lemon zest, sage and fresh greens for its pop. The hazelnuts on top, mixed with bread crumbs add to the richness and sophistication. This dish is not super fast, as you need to make two batches of “cream” in the food processor or blender, as well as cooking the noodles, but, we assure you – it’s perfect for a holiday table and will be a big hit with friends, family and colleagues.

Cook’s Note: If nut allergies are a concern, you can swap the cashews for sunflower seeds or almonds, as tolerated and flip the hazelnuts with toasted hemp seeds or pepitas, or just omit them. To make this recipe gluten free, use GF lasagna noodles, such as Tinkyada, and top with GF bread crumbs, like Metropolitan, or make your own with GF bread or cereals. We like One Degree Maize Flakes or Rice Cereal for this purpose.butternutlas_lrCreamy Butternut Squash Lasagna

2 cups cashews, soaked in 4 cups water for 4 to 8 hours

3 cups butternut squash, cubed and cooked

2 tsp. dried sage

1 tsp. dried thyme

pinch nutmeg

pinch cayenne (optional)

pinch white pepper (or more, if desired)

salt, to taste

1/2 cup fresh basil

zest of one lemon

1 tsp. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, minced

3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

3 cups fresh Swiss chard, washed, stemmed and shredded (spinach would also be good)

1/4 cup fresh parsley, stemmed and roughly chopped

splash of dry white wine (optional)

9 lasagna noodles, prepared according to package directions

1/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped to quarter-size

2/3 cup breadcrumbs (we used fresh bread)


Before beginning the recipe, it is crucial to have the cashews soaked, and butternut squash cubed and cooked. Be sure to do both of these things in advance of making the lasagna.

Start by draining the cashews and dividing them. You need 2/3 of the soaked cashews for the squash cream filling and 1/3 for the basil cream filling. Set aside the third of the cashews for the basil cream.

In a food processor or high speed blender, add 2/3 of the cashews and process until mostly broken down but not to the point you have cashew butter. Add the cooked butternut squash, dried sage, dried thyme, nutmeg, cayenne, white pepper and salt. Process until all ingredients are incorporated and smooth. When done, set aside; the squash cream will be two layers of the lasagna.

Rinse out the food processor or blender bowl and add the remaining third of the soaked cashews, as well as the fresh basil and lemon zest. Process until ingredients make a smooth green cream. This layer smells wonderful! Set aside until ready to assemble lasagna.

Preheat oven to 375.

At this point, place lasagna noodles into a pot of boiling water. Different varieties cook for different lengths of time, so read the box. Be sure to slightly undercook by 1 or 2 minutes, as the noodles will cook more in the oven.

Next, make the greens layer while your noodles cook. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté the minced onion and garlic in olive oil for about 3 to 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add chopped Swiss chard and fresh parsley, cooking a few minutes until wilted. If using, add the splash of dry white wine and cook about 1 to 2 more minutes. Set aside off heat.

To assemble the lasagna, first spray the casserole dish (we used 9×13) with nonstick spray or wipe it with olive oil. The first layer will be 3 lasagna noodles, placed next to each other.  Top with 1/2 of the squash cream (spread evenly) and all of the chard/onion mixture. Add another layer of 3 noodles. Top with all of the basil cream, spreading evenly. Top with remaining 3 noodles. Smear last half of the squash cream across the entire surface of the lasagna. Sprinkle top with breadcrumbs and hazelnuts.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, covered with foil. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes to crisp the topping. Serve warm.

A plate of fall goodness…


This collection of harvest-themed recipes are all easy, vegan, gluten-free and tasty! Over the past few weeks, we have crossed-posted these original dishes on the Sister Eden blog, sharing plant-based eating with her eco-conscious readers.  But of course, we want to let YOU have the chance to try them all, too!

First, Apple Cider Slush. This drink is true nostalgia for us. One of our first dates was at a pick-your-own-apples orchard when we were in college. After roaming the orchards and pumpkin fields, we got apple cider slush to drink, and left the farm with jarred apple butter as a souvenir. For us, this was the beginning of a perfect romance.

The recipe is fun for everyone, though. You don’t have to be on a date to enjoy Apple Cider Slush! In fact, it’s crazy easy to make. All you need is apple cider, lemon juice, water and some spices, to taste. This is a fun recipe for sharing and an great, fun drink. Want to try it “grown up”? Add a splash of rum or whiskey.

DHCiderSlush_lrSlow cooker meals are an ideal fit for fall. So are acorn squash. Every market and grocery store in the mid-Atlantic seems to be over run with acorn squash this fall! And that’s fine, because they’re delicious and work like magic in this Acorn Squash Chili.  You could easily make up a batch of this chili before bed and have lunch for the next day all ready to pack.

Did you know – you don’t need to skin acorn squash?! That’s right. All you need to do is wash it, seed it and cube it up. To pull this Acorn Squash Chili together, first you’ll saute onions, garlic celery and carrots. Next, toss the sauted veggies, cubed squash and other ingredients into the slow cooker. And that’s it! The chili pretty much cooks itself.

AcornChili_lrHaving a meal ready to go during the busy fall season is like holding a hand full of aces at a poker game. These Freezer-Friendly Stuffed Peppers are just what you need. You can make them ahead of time and pop them in the freezer – then whenever you need a supper ready in a flash, just warm up some peppers.

These beauties are stuffed with onions, garlic, portabellos, kale, brown rice, chickpeas, spices and cashews! Freezer-Friendly Stuffed Peppers are a meal-in-one, great for families and anyone who is busy – but wants a nutritious, homemade meal.


In the world of veggies, Brussels Sprouts get a bad rap. It’s not their fault! The problem is that most folks don’t know how to cook them. Brussels Sprouts can actually be quite delicious. You might even find you crave them once you have them prepared properly. The good news is that making them is simple. Try these Balsamic Brussels Sprouts.

With only five ingredients, this is a side dish you can actually get on the table any night of the week. The key is paying attention to your cooking time. Balsamic Brussels Sprouts cook in only 8 to 12 minutes. Seriously! And the thing is, it’s SO yummy! Give these poor, misunderstood veggies a chance. You can spare ten minutes to get reacquainted.

brusselsside_lrOur Corn and Mango Salad with Citrusy Mint-Maple Dressing is a crowd-pleaser, so consider this recipe for parties and potlucks in the coming weeks. The roasted corn mingles with raw zucchini, red pepper, mango, minced red onions and edamame. The combination is bright and surprising with smokiness and fresh crunch in the mix. Again, it’s easy to pull together. You just all all the veggies to a large bowl and toss with the dressing.

Corn and Mango Salad with Citrusy Mint-Maple Dressing could work with another dressing if you are in a rush, however, the tart lime, savory basil, refreshing mint and sweet maple really do meld beautifully and highlight the contrasting textures and flavors in this salad.

cornsalad_dhbg_lrFor adventurous eaters, we have Spicy Swiss Chard Rolls. These fun wrap-ups will warm you up from the inside.; they’re are savory, hearty and bring some heat! The unique flavor profile was inspired by African peanut stew and mimicks the tasty combination of that traditional dish.

We used a fun peanut butter in our Spicy Swiss Chard Rolls that is pre-seasoned with cayenne pepper and chili powder. It’s Peanut Butter & Co.’s “The Heat is On.” But if you can’t find it in your local grocer and don’t want to buy a jar online, you can replicate the effect of spicy peanut butter by adding some cayenne, red pepper flakes and/or chili powder to your favorite peanut butter. Don’t care for too much spice? Just use regular peanut butter.  No worries if you have a peanut allergy, try using almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter or soy nut butter instead – just add spice to your taste to replicate the effect. And of course, skip garnishing with peanuts, too – to add that crunchy pop, try pepitas, slivered almonds, soynuts or toasted chickpeas.


To call kale a fall veggie isn’t quite right. Kale is an all the time vegetable, really. With a little care, kale plants will live even through the snowy months. So in theory, you can enjoy Fiesta Kale Salad all year long.

Kale is simple to prepare, but there are a few things you should know to make it even yummier. First, you’ve got to remove those woody stems if you plan to eat it raw, like in this salad. The stems are edible and in cooked dishes, they’re fine. But in raw salads, it’s like chewing on a stick. Next, you need to massage the kale. Not kidding! Once you’ve added the dressing, get in there with your hands – yes, it’s messy – and really rub those kale leaves down. It will make them soft and fluffy, and your family and friends will think you’re a culinary master.

To serve Fiesta Kale Salad to full effect, we suggest making the baked tortilla bowls. It’s not difficult and they’re so much fun to eat. Plus, they’re baked, so you can use any tortilla you like (whole wheat, spinach, tomato, gluten-free, etc.) and really customize the dish.

kaleMexi_dhbg_lrEnjoy your fall cooking and visit Sister Eden on Fridays for the “Let’s Eat” coulmun – we have a vegan, gluten free recipe posted there each week!

South West Casserole


If you’re a vegan living under a rock for the past year, you may not heave heard of Beyond Meat. It’s a faux meat  product that looks, feels, tastes and acts like cooked chicken – but it’s 100% vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free, and the inventor is a native of Maryland.

We first tried Beyond Meat over a year ago at the Roots Market stand during DC Veg Fest 2012. A lot of other vegans in the crowd weren’t sure about it – after all, it really DOES look and feel like real chicken. Even TV Chef, Alton Brown has endorsed the product.

Unlike any other meat substitute we’ve encountered, Beyond Meat has a convincing taste and texture.  Your friends and family who think vegan food is “weird” are going to love this. In fact, you can likely fool them. We know several folks who have tricked meat eaters with Beyond Meat. The company has a conscience, too. Their packages encourage recycling and clearly states commitments to human health, reversing climate change, conserving nature and respecting animals.  Gotta love that.


In pretty much any recipe that uses chicken, Beyond Meat will make the switch. I mean, obviously not a whole-bird roast – you have to be practical! 🙂 But if you have an old family cookbook like I do, you can easily use Beyond Meat in many of your mom and grandmom’s favorite chicken recipes. It hold ups well during prep, doesn’t get mealy or fall apart with cooking and takes on flavor smoothly.

We have tried Plain, South West and BBQ flavors. It’s available at Roots Market, MOM’s and Whole Foods so far. Oh, and this product makes a mean chicken-less salad. Pack some in a wrpa for lunch – your co-workers will envy you!

For this post, we made a casserole. It’s ideal for feeding a crowd, and would work well a potluck over the holidays, especially one catering to both vegans and omnivores.


South West Casserole

1 Tbl. olive oil

4-5 cups broccoli (one large head), chopped

1 large onion, sliced into half moons

1 pack of South West style Beyond Meat, cubed

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped roughly and seeded

1 cup fresh bell peppers, chopped and seeded

1/4 cup all purpose flour (gluten-free blend will work)

1/3 container (about 1/2 cup) of plain vegan cream cheese, room temperature  (we used Tofutti)

2  large tortillas, sliced into one-inch strips  (we used Trader Joe’s red pepper type;  gluten-free will work)

1/2 bag (about one cup) vegan cheddar-style shreds (we used Daiya)

sliced green onions, to serve (optional)

siracha or other hot sauce, to serve (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Use olive oil to grease a casserole dish and set aside.

In a large pot, steam broccoli and onions until just soft, about 3-5 minutes. Strain water, and shock in an ice bath to preserve the green of the broccoli. Set aside.

Toss the chopped Beyond Meat with chili powder and garlic powder; add in tomatoes and peppers.

Stir together vegan cream cheese and flour to make a thick paste.

Begin to layer the casserole: first, add broccoli and onions. Dot with cream cheese/flour combo.  Next, pour on Beyond Meat layer with the tomatoes and peppers. Weave the tortilla strips on top, over-and-under to make a basket-like pattern. Or you can just lay them across if you aren’t feeling artsy.  Load on the 1/2 bag of vegan cheddar shreds.

Bake for 20 minutes at 375, uncovered. The casserole will be bubbly and the cheddar shreds will melt. Allow to sit on the counter-top to cool about 15 minutes before serving. Top with green onions and siracha, as desired and enjoy! OH – and be sure to notice that Beyond Meat!   It will add a chewy, hearty texture and give your casserole unique substance, sure to please the fussiest eater!

UPDATE: Beyond Meat is offering a FREE year of product to one lucky winner THIS MONTH! So log onto their site here to get all the rules and regulations. Good luck!