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Vegan Recipe – Southwestern Pepper Casserole

Eric is not a huge fan of beans, so I tried adapting the recipe from a previous post, Dual Dining – Southwestern Black Bean Casserole, to make it without the black beans.  All I did was substitute bell peppers and onion for black beans.  So basically, this is just a Southwestern Pepper Casserole now.  It tastes really great and isn’t as heavy as beans.

Southwestern Pepper Casserole | A Vegan in Progress

Here’s an update of what the bell pepper mixture looks like.

INGREDIENTS:
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 a white onion
2 bell peppers (I used one red and one green)
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 low-sodium whole-wheat tortillas (or 6 corn tortillas)
12 ounces salsa, no added sugar
1 cup shredded Daiya vegan cheddar cheese
1 (2.25oz) can sliced olives (optional)

STEPS:

1.  Preheat oven to 375°.

2.  Chop bell peppers and onion.  In a medium skillet, add oil; heat over medium-low heat.  Add garlic, and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.

3.  Add bell peppers and onion, and continue cooking approximately 5 minutes.  Add cumin, black pepper, salt, and cilantro; stir to combine.

4.  Spray the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray (I used a 7×11 inch casserole dish and it worked just fine).  Add a tortilla (or tortillas if you are using a rectangular dish), a layer of bell pepper mixture,  a layer of salsa, and a layer of cheese; continue layering until all ingredients have been used. Top casserole with remaining cheese.  I sprinkled sliced olives on top of mine.

5.  Cover casserole dish with foil, and bake approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove foil, and continue cooking 8–10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Vegan Recipe – Chorizo and Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

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This recipe of the week comes from The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour, which I have been slowly working my way through.  I have been meaning to post it for the last week, but I went back and forth about whether or not I should post a photo.  The recipe makes a great mid-week meal, but it is by no means an impressive one that you should make for company.  Simply said, it comes out looking sloppy.  I am not even posting photos of it because I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying it.  It was a really tasty meal and made for great leftovers, so give it a try.

I really liked the soy chorizo, which reminded me of a spicy ground meat.  Also worth noting, we used two sweet potatoes instead of the one listed in the recipe.  I had never cooked with sweet potatoes before.  I know, I was in a serious rut before becoming vegan!  Anyway, I didn’t know that there were many types of sweet potatoes (including purple ones!), so I accidentally bought “dry-fleshed” sweet potatoes.  The dry-fleshed sweet potatoes are white on the inside, firmer, and less sweet.  I thought the recipe worked well with this type of potato, but I’m sure it would be very good with a sweeter, orange “moist-fleshed” potato, although you may only want to use one due to the sweetness.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium-size sweet potato, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 cups enchilada sauce
  • 1 package (11 oz) corn tortillas
  • ½ package (12 oz) soy chorizo
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

** You can use crumbled tofu in place of the chorizo if you want a gluten-free version.  Use beans instead to make it a soy-free dish.

THE NIGHT BEFORE:
Store the sliced sweet potato in an airtight container in the fridge. (You could also just slice it in the morning as your first step.)

IN THE MORNING:
1.  Oil the crock of your slow cooker (or use a liner) and pour one-fourth of the sauce over the bottom.
2.  Cover the sauce with a single layer of tortillas and top with one-third of the chorizo, one-third of the sweet potatoes, and one-third of the black beans.  Top with another one-fourth of the sauce.
3.  Repeat the layering (starting with the tortillas) two more times, cover with a final layer of corn tortillas, and spread the remaining sauce on top.
4.  Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours.  If your slow cooker runs hot, pour on a little extra sauce to keep it from drying out.

At first bite we thought that the dish was very dry.  We each topped our servings with some salsa (Eric preferred tomatillo and I used traditional) and the dish became really tasty and spicy.  The next day I took leftovers to work and tossed a pinch of Daiya pepperjack cheese on top about 30 seconds before the end of the microwave cycle.  I enjoyed the extra cheesy-ness, but it was great without it as well.

Dual Dining – Southwestern Black Bean Casserole

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I have to sing my husband’s praises a little bit.  He is a major meat-eater, but he has really started to become more open minded about my new dietary choices.  Yesterday, he brought me a recipe that could easily be made vegan and asked me to make it for dinner tonight.  It’s Southwestern Black Bean Casserole, found here.

We were expecting some friends over, so I made it with both vegan and traditional cheese.  It came out about 40% vegan and 60% otherwise.  I carefully sprinkled the cheese so that it would be easy to cut and separate the servings by diet.

INGREDIENTS:
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
2 (15oz) cans black beans, drained
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 low-sodium whole-wheat tortillas (or 6 corn tortillas)
12 ounces salsa, no added sugar
1 cup shredded 2% Cheddar cheese / Daiya vegan cheddar cheese
1 (2.25oz) can sliced olives (optional)

STEPS:

1.  Preheat oven to 375°.

2.  Drain beans, set aside.  In a medium skillet, add oil; heat over medium-low heat.  Add garlic, and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.

3.  Add black beans and broth, and continue cooking approximately 3 minutes.  Add cumin, black pepper, salt, and cilantro; stir to combine.

4.  Spray the bottom of an 8×8-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray (I used a 7×11 inch casserole dish and it worked just fine).  Add a tortilla (or tortillas if you are using a rectangular dish), a layer of black bean mixture,  a layer of salsa, and a layer of cheese; continue layering until all ingredients have been used. Top casserole with remaining cheese.  I sprinkled sliced olives on top of mine.

5.  Cover casserole dish with foil, and bake approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove foil, and continue cooking 8–10 minutes. Remove from oven.

Southwestern Black Bean Casserole | A Vegan in Progress

Daiya Vegan Cheese on the right, regular cheese on the left

Next time, to make things simpler, I will probably just use two smaller Pyrex dishes for the different cheeses so there is no chance if it melting over to the other side.  You can see very clearly in the photo above the two different types of cheeses.  In terms of taste, I found the Daiya cheese to be a close replica of its dairy counterpart.  In terms of looks, it doesn’t melt nearly as well as regular cheese and is slightly unappetizing for those who aren’t used to it.  The recipe is very simple, tasty, and easily customizable so we will probably make it again.  Everyone enjoyed it enough for seconds.