Saturday, February 9, 2013

The BEST Ooey, Gooey, Cheezy Hash Brown Casserole

Well folks, we are snowed in here in New Hampshire. Nemo has dumped 2 feet of snow on us, and its still snowing a little! All morning, the wind was howling, the snow was drifting, and my stomach was growling for something hearty and warming. A bowl of granola and a few berries was NOT going to cut it this morning!

So, what is else there to do, than jump on Pinterest?!

The original recipe came from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, but I modified it slightly here and there to accomodate what I had on hand (since I obviously wasn't going to the grocery store).

1 1/4 c water
1 c plain, sugar-free non-dairy milk
3/4 c nutritional yeast
1/4 c raw cashews
3 Tbsp arrowroot powder (or some other thickener)
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 kale leaves, stems removed and leaves chopped
16 oz. potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil an 11x9" baking dish.
2. Place sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. NOTE: I used a food processor, and realized after the fact that I should have processed the cashews BEFORE adding all the other ingredients! Since I added everything at the same time, my cashews didn't get fully processed and there were some chunky bits. It still tasted delicious, but I'm telling you so you can learn from my mistakes. ;)
3. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until the onion is softened. Stir in the kale and a little bit of water, if needed, to prevent sticking. Cook until the kale has wilted.
4. Add the sauce, potatoes, and chickpeas. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens (it won't take very long!). I loooove how it gets super gooey, like real cheese!
5. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, add some breadcrumbs on top (optional), and then bake another 20 minutes. I put it on broil for the last 5 minutes to brown the breadcrumbs.

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