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I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season.  If, by chance, you are in need of a vegan option to take to a potluck or are having a vegan visit for dinner, I wanted to share a recipe I recently made.  I have two go-to recipes for potlucks/family dinners: a pumpkin kibbeh or the tahini casserole from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet.  I wanted to try something different this year and, while thumbing through my recipe box, found a casserole I wanted to try.

I found the original recipe in an Eating Well magazine and thought it sounded tasty.  Tasty, but it was not vegan.  I made a few tweaks and my vegan result was wonderful; just as creamy and delicious as I imagine the original to be.  It’s easy, doesn’t take much prep, and travels well.  I portioned out what I didn’t take with to the dinner and put the containers in the freezer.  I pull one out the night before to thaw, heat it up, put it in my thermos, and I have a delicious hot lunch at work.

If you or your vegan visitor like asparagus and pasta in a creamy sauce, give this recipe a try.  Happy Holidays!

casserole (2)

No-Cheese, Asparagus, and Pea Baked Pasta

12 oz chickpea rotini (I like the chickpea pasta because it keeps its texture)

1/2 cup minced white or yellow onion

1 lb bag frozen organic asparagus, cut into bite size pieces if whole

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups frozen organic peas

5 TBSP all-purpose flour

4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

4 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 block Daiya cheese, Smoked Gouda flavor, shredded

1 TBSP chopped tarragon, or 1 tsp dried

2/3 cups whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Coat a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the chickpea pasta and cook 2 minutes less than package directions.  Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain pasta.  Put pasta in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Put the minced onion in a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook until onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add the frozen vegetables and heat until vegetables are thawed, adding a little water to the pan if vegetables start to stick.  Scrape into the bowl with the pasta.
  4. Using the same pan, heat 2 TBSP of the oil and then sprinkle in the flour, whisking until the flour starts to brown-2 to 3 minutes.  Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the milk.  Add the reserved water, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened.  Remove from heat and whisk in Daiya and tarragon.
  5. Pour sauce over the pasta and vegetables and stir until coated.
  6. Transfer to the prepared dish.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with 2 TBSP olive oil and sprinkle over the casserole.
  8. Bake until heated through, 30 to 35 minutes.  Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving or let cool, cover, and take to a potluck.

It will serve 8 if each has 1 cup.  Any leftover can be parceled out and frozen.

The original recipe was published in the Eating Well magazine by Katie Workman: I didn’t copy down the edition.  I’ll be better, I promise 🙂  I subbed out 2 cups leeks for the onion I had on hand, Gruyere for Daiya’s Smoked Gouda, and milk for almond milk.

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