Thursday, April 9, 2009

Yellow Squash Gratin

I am enjoying spring produce to the maximum right now! This gratin makes a tasty dinner.

Heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and saute 5 minutes. Add 1 large minced garlic clove and cook 30 seconds, then add 6 cups yellow squash (cut in half lengthwise, and then cut into 1/4-inch thick slices). Saute 7 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. dried thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, if you prefer), and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Stir in 1 and 1/2 cups cooked long-grain rice, 6 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese in place of Gruyere (I used the vegan mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods), and the equivalent of 2 eggs using vegan egg replacer (such as Ener-G); stir well to combine.

It would have helped if I had realized ahead of time that the recipe said to add cooked long-grain rice! I had to set my squash mixture aside and cook up my rice right in the middle of my dinner preparations; I'm so used to recipes where the grains are added uncooked. Luckily, it didn't take more than 25 minutes; note that I used long-grain brown rice, even though the recipe didn't specify, since I prefer it to white.

Spoon the mixture into an 8x8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray and set aside.

Place half of a 1-ounce slice of white bread in a food processor and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the mixture is in crumbs. I used the white bread from the Vermont Company, which doesn't contain anything sneaky and non-vegan, like honey or whey. Combine the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons more vegan cheese - either freshly shredded vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods or their pre-crumbled vegan Parmesan would work well here; I used the former - along with 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance). Sprinkle over the squash mixture.

A second mistake - I used a whole slice of white bread, before realizing I should only have used half! It won't make a difference in the final calorie counts for the dish though, since any calories added from the extra bread are made up for by the fact that my vegan 'eggs' are way less caloric than the real deal.

Bake the gratin at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before dividing into 4 equal portions, each of which is 250 calories. I think this would be delicious alongside grilled soy cheese sandwiches to round out the meal.

onion $0.60
yellow squash $4.58
flat-leaf parsley $0.99
vegan mozzarella $3.39
white bread $4.59

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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