My childhood and early adult meals were often graced by casseroles, usually made with a canned condensed soup of some sort and topped with crispy things such as potato chips, corn flakes, or fried onions. As a child, I liked them because the warm mixture of flavors and textures was very satisfying and comforting to me. As I got older, and began to cook for myself, I loved that they were quick and easy to make and usually provided leftovers for another meal.
These days, I reserve casserole-making for when I have to cook for large crowds. Now that I'm vegan, casseroles can be pretty time-intensive if I don't want to purchase a bunch of not-so-good-for-you vegan substitutes. But not anymore. Vegan Kitchen Wizard/Goddess, Julie Hasson, has just released her newest cookbook, Vegan Casseroles. I've been anxious to get my hands on this book ever since I heard about it a few months ago. Now I have a multitude of casserole recipes, not only veganized, but also made easier and healthier than their predecessors.
I got around to making two recipes from the book, but the book is still sitting on my kitchen counter with a ton of recipes dog-eared to try in the near future (The Nacho Tots Casserole, the Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole, and the Spinach Artichoke Casserole whispering sweet nothings in my ear as we speak).
The first casserole I made was the Zucchini Basil Casserole because I was bursting at the seams with zucchini that my CSA had sent me. I'd never had a straight up zucchini casserole before so I didn't know what to expect. The casserole came together super quickly (5 minutes to grate the zucchini and another 5 to chop the basil and mix together the other ingredients) and a half hour later after putting it in the oven, we were sitting down to dinner. What struck me first was how delightfully buttery the casserole was and how well the zucchini and basil worked together. What I really loved, what I really couldn't get enough of, was the buttery crumb topping! Because Julie provides gluten-free options with most (if not all- I didn't have a chance to check every one) of the recipes, it was simple for me to just sub gluten-free panko crumbs, giving me the most perfect crisp, golden topping. The leftovers of this dish were like a delicacy- I wanted a serving with every meal but I didn't ever want it to end.
I also made the Truffled Cauliflower Mac because a.) the word "Truffled" was in the title, b.) Cauliflower is one of my favorite things, and c.) Mac n' Cheese (duh). I may have also chosen this recipe because it required a double recipe of that buttery crumb topping. Whatever the case, this might've been the most simple mac n' cheese I've made since the stuff in the blue box. It was less than an hour from the time I started that I was
diving face first into this casserole dish serving my family dinner. Everyone was pleased (even the little cauliflower-hater in my family).
I know you've all just ordered Vegan Casseroles after drooling over these pictures, but while you wait for your copy to arrive, make a batch of this Zucchini Basil Casserole to tide you over until your copy arrives.
Reprinted with permission from VEGAN CASSEROLES © 2014 by Julie Hasson, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
- 11/2 pounds zucchini
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegan margarine, melted
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegan margarine, melted
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish.
- Trim off the ends of the zucchini, and shred them on a large box grater in a medium bowl. Add the basil, salt, and melted margarine, tossing until everything is coated. Add a few grinds of freshly ground pepper.
- Spread the zucchini mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil, and evenly sprinkle the crumb topping over the zucchini. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and crispy.
- In a small bowl, mix together the panko breadcrumbs, margarine, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs in the topping.
Variation: For an herbed garlic-flavored topping, add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs. For a richer topping, increase the melted margarine to 3 tablespoons.
For those of you who haven't already bought your copy, Julie's publisher, Running Press, is running a huge, Mega-Giveaway right now. One lucky winner will receive a Breville Smart Oven to cook up all you casseroles in, and 5 runners-up will receive copies of Vegan Casseroles. See what I mean? HUGE! The giveaway is open to US residents only and will run until November 12th. Use the box below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you so much to Julie and Running Press for inviting me to be a part of this book tour and thank you to all of you gorgeous people for stopping by!
What is your favorite casserole?
Disclaimer: I was given this book to review but the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Photography by Chris Miller
I would love to win this and would probably try nearly all of the recipes in the book but I have to say because Zukes are in season and that's the FIRST reason I clicked on your post in the first place - I would have to say the one you featured is the one I am most excited about and would try first! The photos are wonderful, too! Really grabbed me in!
this casserole looks phenomenal!!! i love making casseroles because of the ample leftovers, so i pretty much need this book.
These look yummy! Added the book to my wish list!
Oohh, that mac and cheeze! I want to eat the whole dish. This cookbook sounds awesome!
spinach artichoke sounds good to me too!
I am excited about the cheezy rice casserole she has listed! I will also be trying this one with my zucchini abundance as well.
Can't wait to try the Truffled Cauliflower Mac!
Wendy @ The Nomadic Vegan
You've sold me on this book. Casseroles! I haven't had them since childhood, but they would be perfect for packed lunches to take to work throughout the week. My favourite casserole was always this: http://tinyurl.com/m3rryoz. In my family we called it rice corn casserole, and we had it every Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've been thinking about ways to veganize it for the holidays this year. Any suggestions? What would you use to substitute the cream of celery soup?
I make a really good mexican quinoa casserole. I use ground tortilla chips and daiya cheese for the topping!
The Bumbleberry Cobbler would fit nicely in my tummy!
Mmm casserole! About time I rediscovered it. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Looks like such a great cookbook!
msred5 at gmail dot com
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
I want to try this one! Zucchini and basil! Phenomenal combo!
You had me at mac and cheese! And truffle! And cauliflower! I do not make enough casseroles so this book would be perfect. Thanks Kristy!
Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming
the cauliflower mac n cheese sounds delightful!
um, all of them? new babies and casseroles are almost a cliche!
The truffle mac! It sounds amaaaazing!
The Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole sounds great to me! I've never made Sloppy Joes before, but have always wanted to try. It will be great to have a vetted vegan recipe to follow.
I think I forgot casseroles existed, let alone vegan casseroles! I know what I'm making this winter.
The Cauliflower Mac sounds good. I recently tried the Earth Balance boxed mac and cheez, but I'd like to try making my own sometime.
(For this giveaway, I'll drive across the border!!)
Thanksgiving and Christmas were rough for me - I hate both traditional dinners. The small glimmer of hope was Grandma's Zucchini Casserole, which rarely made an appearance. Basically this one, except she sliced the zucchini. It was the only casserole she made that didn't use Cream of Mushroom soup!
Now, my favourite casserole would be a mash-up of moussaka and lasagna. Does that count?
At the moment my favorite happens to be a cheesy broccoli and quinoa casserole recipe! Vegan, gluten free, so delicious for my soul and good for my body!
This is the perfect time of the year for casseroles! I want to make the sloppy joe cornbread and any Mexican style casseroles.
Even though I'm a 70-yr-old cook, I'm always interested in great recipes. This cookbook sounds like one to add to my collection! And the Breville oven looks so nice -- I have a Cuisinart that doesn't have a timer (didn't notice the lack of that feature that when I purchased it.) Very frustrating! So I'll keep my fingers crossed! Thanks for your offer!
I would do this zucchini basil one! It looks so good
Good vegan mac & cheese -- can't wait!
Nacho Tots?!?! Sounds like a casserole my skeptically vegan husband and my picky 2 year old son will absolutely love. Can't wait to try it!
The Truffle Cauliflower looks so good! I lean towards a vegan diet mostly, as do many of my friends, and this looks so great- I'm always looking for efficient, healthy, inspiring recipes and a cookbook that looks so cute as well! I can't wait to try more and share them with my friends & family.
Nacho Cheesy Sauce
I love any kind of mexican casseroles!
definitely want to try a dessert casserole!
I want to try the Truffled Cauliflower Mac!
Yummy, love casseroles! Mac & cheese casserole!!!! I wanna win! These look amazing I can't wait to try them.
i want to try that cornbread casserole!
This definitely needs to be my next cookbook purchase!!
OOH OOH OOH! Give me all the cauliflower mac n cheese now! GAH!
I want to try any casserole with truffle!
I love cornbread like crazy, so any cornbread casserole is right up my alley!
Sloppy Joe Casserole!
I am dying to try the nacho tot casserole!
I can't wait to try the Truffled Cauliflower Mac!
Wahoo! Thanks so much for posting this!
Thanks! I'd like to try something that my casserole-loving husband would like. I think one with Tater Tots could be a winner 🙂
I love casseroles and especially vegan mac and cheese!
Holy crap. I want to try any and all of them!! But the Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole sounds delish (reminds me of "Tamale Pie" - yum), and the Spinach Artichoke Casserole is a must because spinach and artichokes are two of my favorite veggies.
I would try the Tamale Pie first!
The food here always looks good!
The truffled mac and cheese sounds amazing!! 🙂
The truffled cauliflower Mac looks amazing!
Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole? I NEED it. Tonight I made a vegan casserole for friends who come to potluck once a month at my house. Time to learn about some new ones!
That Mac and cheese looks so so good!
The spinach and artichoke casserole sounds fantastic. I love that flavor combination.
Yum, casseroles are a way to use up all produce in my fridge before it goes bad.Thanks
Wow, this casserole looks delicious! I think this is the recipe I would most like to try. Yum!
I want to try that cauliflower one! Looks sooo creamy and yummy!
I am drooling over the mac and cheese!
I would love to to transition my picky eater to more vegetable based deliciousness!
Really like tamale pie so I would definitely try out Julie's version!
Going to make this zucchini casserole tonight, looks so good!
Sorry am i reading the recipe wrong, is it 11/2 pounds of zucchini for this dish...? seems like a lot..
You are reading it right. Trust me, once you've grated it, it won't seem like that much. I actually used nearly 2lbs.