I’m still here. Sort of. I am not taking the change in weather gracefully. Going from 30° and sunny to 14° and raining in a matter of a day does not a happy Maya make.
It’s not all doom and gloom here in the Keen Kitchen, I just haven’t really felt inspired to create. Or grocery shop. So I have been whipping up things like vegan mac n’ cheese and weird chickpea and brown rice combos. My culinary highlight of the past two weeks has definitely been Melissa from Swapmeat’s Cuban beans and rice. Make those and imagine yourself enjoying them on the beach with a frosty cuba libre in hand if you want a little sunshine in your life!
I probably should have made those again, but instead spent my day watching all six super-grisly episodes of The Walking Dead back to back, occasionally looking up to gaze sulkily at the raindrops hitting the indoor furniture still on our deck that we stubbornly have not brought in.
Even though I really should have had zero appetite after six hours of intestine-relishing zombies, my grumbling stomach convinced me to poke around and see what was up in the kitchen. Potatoes were pretty much the only fresh thing. I rarely buy potatoes, as they are a no-no in our house, but today called for comfort food after a gruelling day on the couch. Hence the cheesy potato bake.
Unlike its chockfull-of-dairy counterpart, this vegan cheesy potato bake is low(er) in fat and high in fibre thanks to today’s secret ingredient: white beans. I was feeling guilty about making a dish that has nothing green in it, so I thickened my sauce with beans instead of oil and flour. Nutritional yeast, a vegan cheese sauce staple, adds vitamins and overall yumminess too.
Jack couldn’t stop raving about this. He’s a comfort food kind of guy. He proclaimed it “delicious,” “soooooo good” and the “best scalloped potatoes” he has ever had. Woah! Not bad for a vegan bean-filled potato dish!
I recommend putting some Daiya on this. The liquid dried up a lot during the cooking process and a little Daiya melted on top gave the dish some extra moisture. Hot sauce or ketchup works too!
2 19-oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 tbsp tamari
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tahini
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika
freshly ground pepper to taste
4 large potatoes, thinly sliced in rounds
Daiya vegan cheese
Preheat oven to 450°.
Place all ingredients besides the potatoes in a blender and blend until smooth.
Grease a large baking dish (mine’s 13″ x 9″). Spread two potatoes-worth of rounds evenly in the dish. Ladle sauce until covered. Layer the remaining two potatoes. Pour remaining sauce on top.
Sprinkle with more paprika and freshly ground pepper.
Cover in tinfoil and bake 30 minutes.
Uncover and bake another 20 to 30 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.
Sprinkle some Daiya on top and put back in oven until melted.
Serve with something green and try not to think about zombies. Enjoy!