Thursday, June 19, 2008

Grits Casserole with Pesto 'Butter'

For the pesto: in a food processor, combine 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, two tablespoons loosely packed parsley leaves, one tablespoon vegan grated Parmesan topping (such as Galaxy's:, one tablespoon vegetable broth, one small, minced garlic clove and one tablespoon vegan butter substitute, softened (as always, I prefer the one from Earth Balance: Process until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. Spoon into a bowl, cover and chill until dinner time.

For the grits: combine 2 cups plain soy milk (such as Silk), 1/2 cup vegetable broth and a 1/4 tsp. salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently so the soy milk doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan, then gradually stir in 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons yellow grits. Turn heat to medium-low and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally - you'll want to use a long-handled wooden spoon, as the grits will splatter a bit as they cook.

Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup grated 'Parmesan' and a sprinkling of black pepper, stirring to combine. Let cool slightly.

While it cools, create the vegan equivalent of two egg whites using the egg substitute of your choice. (If using Ener-G egg replacer, that's one tablespoon of the powder to 1/4 cup water). Beat with a mixer at low speed until frothy, then add a dash of cream of tartar. (By the way, there is nothing 'cream' at all about cream of tartar. It is the chemical potassiam bitartrate, a potassium acid salt. So don't be afraid of the name!) Beat again; although 'stiff peaks' will not form as they would were you using regular egg whites, the mixture will become thick and glossy.

Slowly stir in half the 'egg white' mixture to the grits, then gently fold in the remaining half. Spoon it all into a 1-quart souffle dish, coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. The original recipe made with egg whites would have risen slightly as it cooked, but was meant to fall back shortly after emerging from the oven, so fret not if your egg replacer doesn't have the same rise-ability as real egg whites.

Serve 1 1/2 cups on each of two plates with 4 teaspoons each of the pesto 'butter' on top, and you've got a dinner for two (440 calories per serving). Add some steamed broccoli spears to round out the meal!

soy milk $2.39
yellow corn grits $3.19

Finally, a friend passed along this great article about not just organic farming, but vegan farming, which ensures that no bone char or other animal products wind up in fertilizer - hip hip hurray to the farmers making this effort, and pass on the word!

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance