Cheesy Vegan Potato Casserole

April 9th, 2011 12:30 pm by Kelly Garbato

This dish is a mashup of two of my favorite cheesy potato recipes, namely: Snarky Vegan’s Tater Tot Casserole with Daiya (which also inspired in me two different pizza pies, holla!) and my very own Cheesy Baked Potatoes. I had a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes that needed to be used up, but was craving a tater tot casserole, and voilĂ !: The Cheesy Vegan Potato Casserole was born.

Now to figure out how best to put this masterpiece on a pizza! (That’s the only way to improve upon a masterpiece, dontchaknow. EVERYTHING’S BETTER WITH PIZZA!)

Cheesy Vegan Potato Casserole

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Ingredients

salt
water
olive oil

1/2 onion (or an entire onion, if you prefer)
7 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes (or the spudly equivalent)
4 cups mixed vegetables (we used a frozen mix of corn, carrots, green beans and Lima beans)
3 cups Daiya cheddar cheese (or the vegan cheese of your choice; for a healthier dish, sub in a nutritional yeast “cheeze” sauce)
1 package (12 slices) Lightlife Smart Bacon

3 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups soy milk

Directions

1. Begin by filling a large bowl about 3/4 full with water; stir in a tablespoon or two of salt. Clean the potatoes, peeling them if you like (I don’t!), and then slice them into rounds approximately 1/8″ in thickness. Place the sliced potatoes in the bowl of water and leave them to soak for an hour or so, making sure that they’re completely covered with salt water. (Soaking is optional but yummy.)

2. While the potatoes are soaking, prepare the onion topping! Pour four tablespoons of olive oil into a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a medium heat. Dice half of an onion (or chop in a food processor) and add to the saucepan, cooking on medium until it’s golden brown in color. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In a large, 9×12″ glass baking pan, spread one tablespoon of olive oil around, making sure to coat the entire bottom of the pan. (A spare potato slice makes for a nice “brush”!) Drain the potato slices and layer most of them in the pan – not flat, but at a 45 degree angle, like so.

4. Sprinkle the cooked onions on top of the potatoes, spreading them around evenly. Next, add the strips of Smart Bacon, layering them on top of the potatoes (a package should provide complete coverage, with a little overlap). On top of this, sprinkle half of the Daiya cheese, followed by the mixed vegetables.

5. At this point, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

6. Prepare the “white sauce” – in a medium-sized saucepan, heat three tablespoons of margarine on medium-low. As it begins to melt, add the flour, stirring until the two are combined. Add the soy milk, whisking well, and cook on medium until the sauce thickens up (about ten to fifteen minutes).

7. Pour the white sauce on the casserole. Add the rest of the Daiya cheese and cover the casserole with the remaining potato slices. Lightly dust the top of the potatoes with olive oil (< one tablespoon) and then sprinkle on some salt (and/or other spices: pepper, garlic, onion, etc.) to taste. 8. Bake at 425 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how soft you like your taters). The dish should be covered (with a cookie sheer or similar) for the first half of the bake time, uncovered during the second. Put on your jammies and enjoy! (For real, you'll need a nap after all those carbs!)

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