Oh my god…the first draft of Eat More Plants is DONE!!

I can hardly believe it. I’m still in a state of overwhelm because it’s been a full, challenging and inspiring 6 months creating it for you. Now, just 18 months to go until I have it in my hot little hands…

But for now, there’s this casserole. One of the books that has been a staple in my kitchen for years is Spilling the Beans. It’s not a vegetarian cookbook, but there are plenty of vegetarian recipes and yes, every one of them has beans. The one recipe I made over and over again was this Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin. So, when charged with bringing over the vegetarian main for New Year’s Eve, I decided to vegan-ize the recipe.

I was very nervous to bring it over because I thought it might be too ‘health food’. And everyone gobbled it up! So I whipped it up for a potluck last month and it was also a hit. Given that it’s still freezing cold for many of us, I thought you might like to give it a try. It takes some time but most of it is oven time. It’s a complete meal and freezes well, so if you’re cooking for just one or two, make it Sunday and you’ll have another dinner for midweek.

I hope you love it…stay warm out there loves!
Desiree

Swiss Chard and White Bean Casserole

Forget everything you know about casserole being boring! This recipe, adapted from Spilling the Beans, is creamy, crunchy, a bit sweet and savoury all at once. Nutrient-dense and packed with plant-based protein and fibre, it's a family friendly meal that is sure to satisfy!
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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches Swiss Chard, leaves and stems separated, both chopped
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free all-purpose flour, (I used Bob's Red Mill Red Label)
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk, or oat milk
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or grated on Microplane
  • 1 large orange-fleshed sweet potato, very finely sliced on a mandoline
  • 2 14 oz cans white beans, like cannellini, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup almond parmesan, homemade or storebought
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook onion until it begins to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Add all of the chard (or in batches if it's too big for your skillet) with a large pinch of salt and cook until chard is wilted and all moisture is evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, add remaining oil and flour and whisk to combine. Pour in the soy milk, whisking constantly until thoroughly blended. Add garlic and nutritional yeast and let come to a boil, whisking, for 2 minutes so that sauce can begin to thicken. Remove from heat, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and plenty of cracked pepper.
  • Lightly oil a casserole dish and lay half of the sweet potatoes, slightly overlapping, in a layer. Sprinkle half the beans over the potatoes, topping with some nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  • Next, spread half the greens over the beans and pour over half the sauce. Repeat, layering potatoes, beans, seasoning, greens and sauce. Top with the almond parmesan.
  • Cover with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes, remove foil and bake for 15 more. Casserole should look nice and bubble. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

Tip: Whenever I made this recipe, the sweet potatoes would never cook in one hour. I couldn’t figure it out. I now slice them on a mandolin like this, and they melt like buttah. And yes, you can substitute any kind of plant-based milk you like…but soy milk makes it the creamiest. 
My almond parmesan !