Cheesy Garlic-Broccoli-Potato Casserole

Now, this one is a masterpiece and is a great example of how improvisation can sometimes really work out.

I had some leftover broccoli last night from when I made a super healthy brown rice stir fry (recipe coming soon). I had lots of different types of vegan cheeses, potatoes, fusilli, garlic, onions, and all sorts of other casserole-worthy ingredients. When I got to the kitchen, I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about making my casserole or how it would look. I was a bit worried that it would turn out a mess. However, I refused to have another Grade C meal (I have Trevor grade my meals for me.) So I carefully planned out how this meal was going to go before I did ANYTHING. And when I knew what to do, it was pretty easy.

And ohmygoodness. I have never been so proud of a meal (even more than my crepes recipe). Everything came out absolutely perfect. A utopian balance of cheesiness, garlic, juiciness, and a beautiful balance between soft and crunchy. The potatoes came out soft, the broccoli was perfect, the cheese was all melted and stringy. Just everything. It’s like all the planets aligned for me, for just this one meal. It’s also pretty healthy, since I used very little oil and plenty of veggies. However, it is pretty carbalicious but that’s not unhealthy, just filling. It’s definitely a comfort food.

I dedicate this one to my sister, Heather, who is obsessed with cheese and broccoli. She’s expecting a baby right now (:D), so she will probably be eating many different combinations of the two throughout the next 8 or so months.

The most important thing of all? I can’t tell a shred of difference between this casserole and a non-vegan one.

Cheesy Garlic-Broccoli-Potato Casserole

By Noela Published: February 24, 2013

  • Yield: 4 slices (4 (or 2 if you're hungry) Servings)

Now, this one is a masterpiece and is a great example of how improvisation can sometimes really work out. I had some leftover …

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Ingredients: UNITE! p.s. ignore the coconut cream in the picture. I didn't end up using it.
  2. Begin by chopping your potatoes into discs. Boil your potatoes and noodles on high. You can boil them separately, of if you're like me and you only have one pot, boil them together. How I did it was I put the potatoes in first and I let them boil for about 7 minutes longer than the noodles because potatoes take longer to soften up then noodles do. I added the noodles and when the noodles were done, I took both off the heat and let them cool. You don't want the potatoes to get so soft that they crumble easily.
  3. While you're waiting for the noodles, chop up your onions and thinly slice your garlic cloves. If you want some inspiration for how to do this to your garlic (and for a great movie to watch) watch the movie Goodfellas. It's a Martin Scorsese Italian mafia movie and there is one scene where they get a close up of a man chopping garlic and the narrator talks about why it's important to slice it that way. Pretty interesting.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and rosemary. Try to homogenize the mix. Pour the onion-garlic mix and the potato-fusilli mix into a large bowl. Toss with the spice mix and try to get the spices evenly distributed.
  5. Pour about 2 teaspoons of oil into a square cake pan (glass or metal). Using a paper towel as an aid, coat each side of the pan with oil. From the large bowl, lay out the potato mix into the bottom of the pan and try to smooth out the top. Lay out the American slices on top of the mix and try to cover the top completely. I only had 2 slices left, so I kind of had to lay the cheese out in patches. Place in oven for about 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, remove from oven (do not turn the oven off) . Place the chard leaves on top and try to cover any exposed areas. Sprinkle mozzarella shreds evenly distributed over the top. Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
  7. Chop up your broccoli into medium sized pieces. Pour about a cup of water into a small sauce pan on medium heat. Place the broccoli in and let it "steam" for about 6 minutes (not too long because you don't want to kill the nutrients in the broccoli). While you're waiting, prepare the 1 cup of Leahey Gardens Cheese Sauce in a sauce pan or skillet. Add a pinch of garlic to it for added flavor.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven (still don't turn the oven off). Lay broccoli over the top of the mix. Then pour the cheese sauce by the tablespoon-full over the whole mix. Put back in the oven for about 5 minutes (you can turn the oven off now, since it will still remain quite hot for awhile even after it's off).
  9. When it's done, remove from oven and cut into quarters. Serve with buttered toast and a tall glass of almond milk! 🙂