Thursday, January 23, 2014

Yellow Squash Casserole with "Cheesy" Dill Sauce and Perfection!

Yellow Squash Casserole with "Cheesy" Dill Sauce
I take pride in the fact I am not perfect when it comes to cooking. I almost never follow recipes in terms of the spices and the ingredients stated, to the letter.

Additionally, when inventing recipes that may or may not yield the desired results, I accept my pitfalls and view each pitfall as a learning experience.

Conversely, when it comes to myself, the food mantra above, does not translate as well. I wonder why I am able to give myself a break when it comes to cooking, but NOT when it comes to myself?

I need to explore this further. To be continued.

In the meantime, let's make something together!

Yellow Squash Casserole with "Cheesy" Dill Sauce (Makes 4 Servings)

2 large yellow squashes, ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise (zucchini may be substituted)
2 cups cooked brown rice or grain of choice (I used Trader Joe's Brown Rice Medley)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup vegan cheese shreds of choice (I used Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

"Cheesy" Dill Sauce Ingredients
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
3 tablespoons garbonzo bean flour
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups unsweetened plant milk (I used soy milk)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (lemon juice may be substituted)
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400F. Make the sauce first. In a medium pot, combine nutritional yeast, salt, garbonzo bean flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and turmeric. Use a whisk to combine. Add plant milk and continue whisking until you get a smooth consistency.

This is what it looks like when ready. 
Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat. Add Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and dill. That's it! Taste for salt and season accordingly.

Thick and creamy. This sauce will be great on almost anything. I see a baked potato in my future...
Let's assemble the casserole now. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of the sauce to the bottom of a medium sized casserole dish. Place about 4-5 slices of yellow squash and season with salt and pepper.

My casserole had 3 layers of squash. 
Now add 1 cup cooked rice, and 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas on top of the squash layer. Spread it "evenly." Add 2 tablespoons of sauce, and repeat the process until you have no more rice and chickpeas left. Top with last layer of squash, and cover with the remaining sauce.

Ready for the oven!
Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and add vegan cheese shreds on top. Continue baking in the oven until the shreds melt, for about 6-8 minutes.

Don't have vegan cheese shreds on hand? So what? Who cares? It tastes great without. Just be sure to cook the casserole for about 30-35 minutes without the addition of vegan cheese shreds, uncovered.

To add vegan cheese shreds or not to add? Tough choice! 

I ate half of this casserole last night and I was completely satisfied with my decision. 

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