Thursday, August 28, 2008

Double-Squash Basmati Gratin

I told you I'd be making several different vegetable gratins toward the end of this month... This one focuses on sister squashes: zucchini and yellow squash. To slice both varieties, cut each zucchini/yellow squash in half lengthwise and thinly slice to equal two cups, so the pieces are small.

In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups thinly sliced zucchini, 2 cups thinly sliced yellow squash, one cup thinly sliced leek, 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper and 2 small minced garlic cloves. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes until the squash is tender. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. (While the squash cooks is also a good time to cook basmati rice according to package directions, since you'll need a cup and a half of cooked rice in the steps below).

In a large bowl, combine another 1/4 tsp. salt, another 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 cup vegan sour cream (such as Tofutti), 1/3 cup plain soy milk (such as Silk), and the equivalent of one egg using egg replacer of your choice (i.e. Ener-G). Combine well with a whisk.

Stir in the squash mixture, 1 and 1/2 cups cooked basmati rice, 1/2 cup crumbled vegan feta cheese (such as Sunergia), 1/4 cup grated fresh 'parmesan' (try the vegan mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods), 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and one teaspoon chopped fresh oregano. Combine well.

Pour into an 8x8 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Place 12 melba snack crackers in a food processor and process into coarse crumbs. Add a tablespoon of melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), and pulse three times until the cracker crumbs are moist. Sprinkly evenly over the rice casserole. I was delighted to find an organic version of melba crackers with all vegan-friendly ingredients, from Devonsheer Organics. If you prefer, buy onion or garlic flavored melba toasts.

Bake it all in the oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Let stand for ten minutes before serving. Each one cup serving is 260 calories.

zucchini $2.71
yellow squash $2.07
leek $2.12
vegetable broth $2.69
sour cream $2.49
basmati rice $1.16
'feta' $4.19
'parmesan' $3.39
melba crackers $2.69

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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