Recipe: Vegan Southwestern Broccoli Casserole

Gooey, creamy, and full of veggies -- this casserole was a hit.

Gooey, creamy, and full of veggies — this casserole was a hit.

Inspired by yesterday’s Broccoli Cheez Bites, I decided to whip up a casserole with similar ingredients for dinner tonight. I haven’t enjoyed a casserole since childhood, and I’m a little disappointed I haven’t thought to use them as a part of my poor-college-student arsenal of kitchen knowledge. Casseroles are incredibly cost-effective and easy to make. They also are a great way to incorporate unused veggies into a meal before they go to waste.

I have also never tried to make a vegan casserole. I think I did pretty well for my first attempt! After perusing the blogosphere for the ingredients in a “typical” casserole recipe, I came up with this concoction.

(You can literally use anything you want or have on hand in a casserole. These ingredients are the ones I had on hand, so this is what I came up with.)

Vegan Southwestern Broccoli Casserole

4 wild mushrooms, chopped
1 white onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Garlic cloves to taste, minced (I love garlic, so I used about 4)
3 cups chopped broccoli
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 large roma tomatoes, chopped
Hummus (I used half a container of Lilly’s brand)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 cup salsa (or however much you desire-I love salsa and added a lot)
1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese (or any flavor, really)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix onion, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, and broccoli together in a bowl.

Add salsa and mix together, using your hands. Add nutritional yeast and mix with hands. Add hummus and mix with hands. The result should be a thick, creamy mixture. (For an extra cheesy dish, add extra Daiya to the mixture as well.)

Lightly grease a glass casserole dish. Place the mixture evenly in the dish. Cover the top of the dish with a layer of Daiya cheese and freshly cracked pepper.

Bake for 30-45 minutes and enjoy!

Broccoli “Cheez” Bites

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Cheezy goodness.

Mmmmm, cheese. I definitely can commiserate with the emphatic cries of non-vegans who just can’t live without it. When I first became a vegan, I adhered to a vegan-at-home, vegetarian-out regimen, occasionally indulging in a slice of cheese pizza (meatless, of course) when I was out on the town. Eventually, I decided it was time to put on my big girl panties and start eating 100% vegan, 100% of the time.

That was when, in a cheese-induced desperation, I discovered Daiya. Delicious, affordable, and soy-free, I just can’t rave enough about this dairy-free cheese.

But this isn’t a PSA, so on to the recipe. Today, I was craving some hummus and Daiya after work, and rummaged through my kitchen pantry to create these little beauties. They were a hit – even my non-veg boyfriend loved them.

Broccoli “Cheez” Bites

1 cup chopped, thawed frozen broccoli
1 cup Daiya cheddar style cheese
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup hummus

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, and form small patties with your hands.

Place the balls on a lightly oiled pan. I smushed mine once on the pan to help retain shape.

Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the patties and bake for another 15 minutes.

Garnish with freshly cracked pepper, and enjoy!