Friday, April 30, 2010

Recipe #16: Acorn Squash and Black Bean Casserole

Last night's recipe was Fat Free Vegan's Pumpkin and Black Bean Casserole with a few small alterations.

This recipe layers the pumpkin with a layer of black beans, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes, and spices. I added chopped green chiles because I didn't have spicy diced tomatoes, and I only used normal chili powder because I couldn't find any of the fancy ones. (The chili powders are what I searched for at Whole Foods that I couldn't find.) I used acorn squash instead of pumpkin.

This is a picture of the bean layer...

and here is a layer of acorn squash on top of the bean layer. The layers went squash, bean, squash, bean, squash. On top of the final squash layer, there was a sauce of milk, corn starch, nutritional yeast, and spices.

Let's take a moment to recognize how awesome that casserole dish is. At some point in the not to distant past, I decided to make broccoli casserole for a pitch-in. Broccoli casserole is frozen broccoli, cream of mushroom soup, rice, and lots of cheese. I realized I didn't own a broccoli casserole dish.* I called Mom, who was properly horrified, and she gave me this dish. It's the dish I remember using when I was growing up, so I'm a little worried about what Mom must be using for her broccoli casserole. I try not to think of her using something new that is not avocado green.

The casserole baked for half an hour with the lid on, and then another half an hour with it off. The sauce became thick and bubbly, and the whole casserole was creamy and really, really delicious.

I love that this casserole reminds me of a cheesy potato casserole while it is neither cheesy nor potato-y. It's much healthier.

I also love that I was able to use my immersion blender and the chopper attachment for said blender. I was right when I said that everything I make should involve using this gadget. It's an excellent time.

Andrew wasn't a big fan of this because he's also against onions.** It would be easy enough to leave the onion out and put in more bell peppers, but it's also okay that he just doesn't like it.

This casserole makes an awful lot (2 quarts, some might say), so I think I'm going to serve it tomorrow night at my Vegiversary Extravaganza. I've been a vegetarian for a year. Happy vegiversary to me!

*Some people would call a broccoli casserole dish a "2 quart baking dish." That's not how I was raised. I'm actually a little surprised you can cook anything in that dish besides broccoli casserole. It feels sacrilegious somehow.

**He's not as opposed to onions as he is to mayonnaise, but he'd rather they weren't in his food. Since chopping the onions even with the chopper attachment made me cry, I don't mind leaving them out of most things.

Edited to add: I just found a good description of nutritional yeast. I didn't know that one reason it's used is because of its similarity to cheese. No wonder this casserole reminded me of cheesy, potato-y goodness.


  1. Best use of an immersion blender?


    Andrew might even like it. You can also use the same technique for making small batches of Hollandaise. Just skip the oil and drizzle in warm, melted butter.

    2nd best use of an immersion blender? Bank robberies.

  2. Yummmmmmmm. Can we pretty please cook this together sometime?