Bread casserole with mushrooms, almonds, edamame + herbs (dairy-free, vegan)

Some people might call this a bread stuffing and make it only on holidays. But this casserole is comfort food anytime. For bread choices, consider using both sweet (whole wheat raisin bread?) and savory (rye or olive bread?). For the homemade broth, simmer the fennel tops from the fennel bulb in more than 4 cups of water while you prepare the other ingredients. Inspired by a Jacques Pépin recipe.

Ingredients
  • assorted breads (1 pound total)
  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • sweet pepper, chopped
  • jalapeño chile, minced (optional)
  • fennel bulb, chopped
  • herbes de Provence spice blend (thyme, oregano, marjoram, savory, rosemary, and lavender)
  • dried sage
  • ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups homemade vegetable broth or store-bought
  • toasted slivered almonds
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • Swiss chard, stalks removed and leaves chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • shallot, minced
  • frozen shelled edamame, thawed
Method
  1. Slice the bread and toast in a toaster or toaster oven until hard then cut into 1-inch pieces, or cut into 1-inch pieces and toast on a baking sheet in a 400ºF oven until hard. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.
  2. Preheat or lower the oven to 375ºF. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm some olive oil. Add the onion, mushrooms, pepper, jalapeño, fennel bulb, herbes de Provence, sage, and nutmeg and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Pour in the broth and stir.
  3. Transfer the vegetable-broth mixture to the bowl with the bread. Stir in the almonds, parsley, chard, garlic, shallot, and edamame with a sprinkle of more herbes de Provence. Pour into a baking dish (you might need two baking dishes, depending on volume). Cover with foil and bake, checking to see if more broth is needed, until completely cooked through and much of the broth is taken up by the bread, up to 60 minutes.
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Vegetable + bean enchiladas with butternut squash sauce + tahini drizzle (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Let your refrigerator and pantry guide you regarding what should fill your enchiladas: Allow yourself to be creative with your choice of vegetables and beans.  The winter squash for the sauce can be roasted in the oven instead of cooked on the stovetop. To fill and fold the tortillas without cracking them, soften first by wrapping them in a kitchen towel and microwaving for a few seconds or warming them in a toaster oven or regular oven for a minute. Inspired by the 101 Cookbooks blog.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • small winter squash (such as butternut, honey nut, or kabocha), peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
  • fresh tomato, chopped, or canned tomatoes
  • chopped vegetables (such as onion, potato, sweet pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, celery, cabbage, zucchini, etc.)
  • jalapeño chile or other chile, thinly sliced (optional)
  • canned or cooked dried beans of choice
  • chopped olives of choice
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • ground turmeric
  • taco seasoning (chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes or ground chile powder, dried oregano, paprika, and ground cumin)
  • lemon zest and juice
  • corn tortillas, softened
  • chopped olives (optional)
  • raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and/or raw sunflower seeds
  • tahini thinned with warm water
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • avocado slices
  • hot sauce or salsa (optional)
Method
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm some olive oil, add the squash and tomato and cook, stirring and mashing, until the mixture becomes a puree. Transfer the puree into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a frying pan over medium heat, warm some olive oil and cook the chopped vegetables and jalapeño until cooked through. Stir in the beans and olives and set aside.
  3. To the puree in the large bowl, add some olive oil, half of the garlic, the turmeric, taco seasoning, lemon zest, and enough water to make a thin sauce (2 cups or so). Whisk well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F. Ladle 1 cup sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Place 1 tortilla in your hand. Spoon some filling in a line down the middle of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over the filling and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. (If you have leftover filling, spoon it around the edge of the baking dish.) Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and bake until golden, about 15 minutes longer.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining garlic and several squeezes of lemon juice into the thinned tahini sauce. Drizzle the tahini sauce over the hot enchiladas, top with the cilantro, and serve with avocado slices and hot sauce.

Tortilla pie with greens, homemade sauce + pepitas (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Here’s a simple way to enjoy the taste of enchiladas while using any leftover cooked beans or cooked or raw vegetables hiding in your fridge (almost any bits work). If you have a round casserole dish about the size of the corn tortillas, the finished product resembles a deep-dish pie. For a milder allium flavor, use green onions or leeks, or sauté the onion and garlic before blending with the other sauce ingredients. To add a hot, smoky flavor, use chipotle chiles with or instead of the dried chiles. For crunch when serving, toast some additional tortillas and break into chips or serve with store-bought tortilla chips. Inspired by recipes from Decolonize Your Diet.

Ingredients
  • dried chiles, such as guajillo or ancho
  • onion, chopped
  • garlic, chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • tomatoes, fresh or canned, chopped
  • cauliflower florets, chopped
  • firm tofu, chopped
  • jalapeño chile, chopped
  • cooked beans (optional)
  • cumin powder
  • dried oregano
  • chopped pitted briny olives of choice (optional)
  • kosher salt
  • corn tortillas
  • greens (such as beet greens, chard, kale, or collards), stemmed and slivered
  • raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Method
  1. Toast the chiles whole in a dry pan over medium heat for a minute or so. Transfer to a heatproof container and submerge in hot water until soft, about 10 minutes. Stem, seed, and coarsely tear them, then add to a food processor or blender, reserving the soaking liquid if needed to thin the sauce.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375º. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, cauliflower, tofu, jalapeño, beans, cumin, oregano, and olives to the food processor. Whirl into a coarse sauce, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and to add some chile soaking liquid if needed to thin the sauce. Season to taste with salt.
  3. In the bottom of a casserole dish, spread a generous layer of sauce, top with a layer of tortillas, then continue layering with greens, sauce, and tortillas to fill the dish, ending with a layer of tortillas. Cover, place on a baking sheet, and bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 50 minutes. Uncover, flip over the top layer of tortillas, sprinkle a solid layer of pepitas over the soft sides of the tortillas, and bake until the pepitas are toasted, watching carefully that they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Green bean, mushroom + black rice casserole (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

This casserole becomes a vegetable shepherd’s pie when topped with cauliflower-potato mash, but it is good on its own served alongside toasted or warmed corn tortillas. If you have the time, soak the rice in hot water for an hour or two, drain, and rinse before adding.

Ingredients
  • coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, or other vegetable oil
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • onion, chopped
  • sweet pepper, chopped
  • jalapeño chile, sliced
  • kosher salt
  • Romano beans or fillet green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • black rice or rice of choice, soaked and rinsed
  • turmeric powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cumin seeds
  • fennel seeds
  • smoked paprika
  • curry powder
  • chopped fresh tomatoes or a jar of marinara sauce
  • homemade vegetable broth, store-bought, or water
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
Method
  1. Warm the oil in an oven-safe pan with a lid or a dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring only occasionally, until browned. Stir in the onion and cook until softened. Add the sweet pepper and chile and a few pinches of salt, cover, and cook for a few minutes. Add the green beans, rice, and seasonings and stir so the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Add the tomatoes to the mixture, stir, cover, and simmer until the tomatoes soften and give off their juices. Add broth to just cover the mixture, cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for a few minutes. Adjust the seasonings.
  4. Carefully transfer the covered hot pan to the oven and bake, checking after 15 minutes. Add more liquid if dry or uncover the pan to reduce the liquid. Continue cooking until the rice and vegetables are completely soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve warm sprinkled with parsley.

Enchiladas stuffed with mole-inspired mashed potatoes (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Instead of cheese, these dairy-free enchiladas are stuffed with seasoned mashed potatoes, which can also be used to stuff sweet peppers or cabbage leaves. Dried chiles add an irresistible smoky flavor, and raisins bring a hint of sweetness. Leftover enchiladas are delicious reheated for breakfast or lunch.

Ingredients
  • raisins
  • dried chiles (such as chipotle, ancho, pasilla, guajillo, or New Mexico), stemmed, seeded, and broken into pieces
  • hot water
  • potatoes, quartered
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • red onion, diced
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • sweet peppers, diced
  • jalapeño chiles, minced
  • corn kernels, fresh, canned, or frozen
  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • slivered almonds
  • toasted sunflower seeds
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • homemade enchilada sauce or store-bought sauce
  • corn tortillas
Method
  1. Put the raisins and dried chiles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with hot water and set aside to hydrate.
  2. Put the potatoes in a saucepan with water to cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid, cover, and set the potatoes aside in the pan to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown. Lower the heat to medium, add the mushrooms, peppers, and fresh chiles, and cook, covered, until cooked through.
  4. Add the potatoes to a large bowl. Coarsely mash the potatoes with a large fork or potato masher. Stir in the mushroom-pepper mixture. Add the corn and green onions. Mix in the reserved raisins and dried chiles plus their hydrating liquid. Stir in some of the reserved potato cooking liquid if the mixture is too dry. Stir in the almonds, sunflower seeds, and fresh cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Put a layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Microwave or steam the tortillas in small batches for a few moments to soften. Put a softened tortilla on a work surface, fill with some of the potato mixture (do not overfill), wrap one side of the tortilla over the filling, and roll up. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until the baking dish is full (save any remaining stuffing for another use). Pour the enchilada sauce over the stuffed tortillas, making sure the tortillas are completely covered, including any spaces between them and the sides of the dish. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling and browned on top, about 40 minutes. Let stand about 10 minutes. Top with more cilantro and sunflower seeds and serve.

Spinach-tomato-rice casserole with pine nuts + olives (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Casseroles make it easy to use the vegetables and cooked grains that are calling your name from the fridge. The trick is to cut all the vegetables about the same size and add some zingy bits (olives and chiles) and richness (nuts and/or seeds).

Ingredients
  • olive oil, for greasing and drizzling
  • cooked brown rice
  • red onion, diced
  • spinach, finely chopped
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • pine nuts
  • green or black olives, sliced, or olive tapenade
  • jalapeño chile, minced, or sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • green onions, thinly sliced
Method
  1. Heat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly grease a baking dish with oil.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake uncovered until bubbling and vegetables are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
  3. Turn on the broiler and broil until top starts to brown, about 7 minutes. Scoop out and serve.
Variation

Replace the spinach with chopped cauliflower florets, the pine nuts with pumpkin seeds, and the oregano with fresh basil leaves. Bake covered about 45 minutes. Uncover and broil as in the original recipe.