Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Potato and Tofu Casserole with Kale

I've blogged about FatFree Vegan's (happy belated 3rd blog birthday to her by the way...please check out her blog if you haven't already) wonderful recipe for Golden Potato and Tempeh Casserole a few times before. I didn't intend to make this recipe the other night, but I'm so glad I did. I sliced up some potatoes intending to make something else and realized I didn't have a key ingredient and didn't feel like substituting. I needed to get dinner on the table in a hurry so I quickly shifted gears went for something similar. I made baked tofu earlier in the day so I decided to sub this for the marinated tempeh in the recipe. I also feel almost anything can be improved with the addition of greens, especially kale, so I cut a big bunch of kale into strips. I topped it with Crunchies. Pretty much the only thing I kept from the original recipe is the potatoes and the luscious sauce. Susan's recipe is divine as is, but if you decide to go my route, put the layer of potatoes in the baking dish, add the tempeh or tofu, add the kale (it should completely cover the dish...kale cooks down a lot), add the second layer of potatoes and then cover completely with the sauce. Also, if you use the Crunchies (the pumpkin seeds and walnuts add fat, but also wonderful nutrients), don't put the casserole back in the oven after you put on the topping...it tend to burn quickly. I think this was the best version yet of this very flexible recipe. To bake tofu, I just put a little olive oil, tamari or Bragg's Amino Acids, nutritional yeast, minced garlic, and molasses or agave nectar into a big glass casserole dish. I slice up the tofu (not silken...I really like Wildwood super firm tofu for baked or fried tofu and I find I don't need to press the tofu first) and get both side wet with the sauce and put in the oven (I have a convection oven setting and this works perfect for baked tofu) on whatever I might need to oven set to for something else (anywhere from 250 to 350...I rarely heat up the oven for just one thing) and bake for 10 to 20 minutes and turn it over and bake for 10 or 20 minutes more and turn it over and do this until most of the liquid is gone and the tofu is hard on the outside.

This time I served it with garlicky sauteed collards. Double yum for the collards (thanks to my southern husband and his grandmother for my love of collards) and kale. I asked the kids to pick out some fruit and they all came back with a different fruit from the freezer so we had raspberries, blueberries, and peaches. The entire family enjoyed it for dinner and there was just enough for Rob to take some for lunch the next day. Parker asked that I make it again soon. I'm sure I will.

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