Tag Archives: broccoli

Daring Cooks: Broccoli “Cheese” Souffle

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

While I’m no souffle expert, I have made a dessert souffle a few times (a banana, which I blogged about, and Gordon Ramsay’s chocolate recipe, which for some reason, didn’t make it on here!). So I wanted to try a savory souffle. Most savory souffles I’ve seen focus heavily on cheese. Since I don’t eat dairy, this seemed to be a bit of a challenge. When I came across a recipe at Eating Well for a broccoli goat cheese souffle, I thought perhaps that I could substitute Daiya for the goat cheese, and since there were other flavors included in the recipe, that it would still turn out well. It was an experiment, but when am I not up for an experiment?

I doubled the Dijon mustard to boost the flavor, and substituted potato starch for the flour. It was great fun watching the souffles rise – I turned the light on in the oven and admired the show. (Conversely, it was not as much fun trying to capture photos before the souffle settled – from the first photo to the last, you can see the slow fall of the dish! Definitely a race against time.) We enjoyed our souffles with a steak, and they were a perfectly light and delicious counterpart. Next time, I might opt to increase the Dijon and broccoli even more to boost the flavor, but it was still a lovely dish.

If you’ve never tried souffles before, and they seem intimidating, don’t be discouraged! They’re a lot easier than their reputation suggests. And even if they don’t rise as much as they should, you still have a lovely mousse to enjoy. This was a great Daring Cooks challenge!

Broccoli “Cheese” Souffle, adapted from Eating Well

1 1/2 c finely chopped broccoli florets

2 T grapeseed oil

2 T potato starch

1 1/4 c non-dairy milk (I used half almond milk, half coconut milk)

2 t Dijon mustard

1/4 t fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1/4 t salt

1/2 c Daiya mozzarella or other non-dairy cheese

3 large eggs, separated

2 large egg whites

1/4 t cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 4 10-ounce ramekins with cooking spray.

Place broccoli in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or until broccoli is tender-crisp. Set aside.

Melt oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in potato starch and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Add non-dairy milk, Dijon mustard, thyme and salt and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in Daiya and 3 egg yolks. Transfer to large bowl.

Beat 5 egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, spoon half of the egg whites into the milk mixture and gently fold in. Add the other half of the egg whites and the broccoli and fold in just until no white streaks remain. Transfer to prepared ramekins.

Bake on a baking sheet until puffed, firm to the touch, and an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Filed under Appetizers, Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Eggs, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Gluten-Free Holiday: Thanksgiving Favorites – Vegan Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

This week’s Gluten-Free Holiday is all about Thanksgiving Favorites, and is hosted by Shirley at Gluten-Free Easily. Shirley is sharing a delicious no-fail pie crust over at Gluten-Free Easily, and is giving away multiple copies of two amazing books. Just look at how awesome this pie crust is. And no rolling of the dough. I love Shirley for her super-simple recipes! Definitely check it out. She also shares other amazing Thanksgiving recipes and tips that are sure to make your big day easier!

photo courtesy of Shirley Braden of Gluten-Free Easily

 

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

 

But first, let me share with you about a new-and-improved version of a Thanksgiving favorite in our home. As much as I love to experiment with recipes, sometimes (at least, with our family), Thanksgiving isn’t the time to spring a “new” version of a favorite. At least, not with everyone. And if it’s a variation, it still has to have the “feel” of the original dish, or else I might risk someone missing out on their once-a-year comfort foods. My broccoli cheese rice casserole is one such dish. I’m sure you’ve heard of the dish before; it ranks up there with green bean casserole in popularity around this time of year. And traditionally, it’s a dish filled with processed ingredients – a can of cream of mushroom soup, some processed cheese food, and frozen broccoli. In years past, I improved the dish (and made it gluten-free) by replacing the canned soup with a homemade mushroom soup. Everyone loved the depth of flavor that soup provided, and I couldn’t make anything else but that dish.

Fast forward to this year. This is my first dairy-free Thanksgiving. I knew I would be making a broccoli cheese rice casserole regardless, but I truly wanted to partake in the dish as well. In the back of my mind, I knew that if my dairy-free version failed, I’d concede and make the processed-cheese version. But I had to try to make it gluten-free and vegan, and make it taste good enough to please the dairy-eaters at the Thanksgiving table. Making a dairy-free “cream” of mushroom soup would be pretty easy. But a dairy-free version of the famous processed cheese? How would I go about accomplishing that?

This is when I remembered a post on The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. Ali was reviewing Alisa Fleming’s book, Go Dairy Free, and she posted a recipe for dairy-free nacho cheese sauce. I’d made it before (for nachos), and it was quite tasty. I opted to try it as an “unprocessed” processed cheese substitute. And to my delight, it worked! The casserole was so similar in texture and taste, I was delighted. When Matt came into the kitchen, the casserole caught his eye, and he asked for a bite. Of course, I indulged him, and he loved it. My husband exclaimed that if I hadn’t told him it was dairy-free, he wouldn’t have known the difference. It was tasty. My switcharoo had worked!

So while this is no longer an easy “dump-and-go” recipe, it is much improved from the preservative-laden, gluten and dairy-filled version of the original casserole. (Besides, in my mind, Thanksgiving is a time to share dishes that might take a bit more labor in the name of love!) A hint – the soup and the cheese sauce can be made ahead of time and frozen. Just thaw and use in the recipe as usual. Also, the casserole can be assembled and refrigerated overnight, keeping the actual work on Thanksgiving day to a minimum. This is my plan, as I also am in charge of the turkey (I use Alton Brown’s Good Eats turkey recipe every year – it is always so moist and delicious, I hesitate to want to change!) and a myriad of other gluten-free dishes!

What are some of your gluten-free Thanksgiving favorites? What will you make this year? Visit over at Gluten-Free Easily and share, and enter for a chance to win these amazing cookbooks:Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O’Dea

and The Spunky Coconut Cookbook by Kelly V. Brozyna

 To enter, head on over to Gluten-Free Easily and check it out!

 

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole

 ¼ c Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread (or grapeseed oil)

½ c chopped yellow onion

16 oz frozen chopped broccoli

1 c vegan “condensed” cream of mushroom soup (recipe follows)

1 ¼ c vegan nacho “cheese”

2 c cooked long-grain rice (I used Basmati)

¼ t celery salt

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 c Daiya cheese (or other non-dairy cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt buttery spread in a large sauté pan at medium meat. Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add broccoli and sauté, stirring occasionally, until no longer frozen. Add soup, nacho cheese, and rice. Stir and allow to warm through. Add celery salt, salt, and pepper to taste. Transfer to an 8X8 baking dish. Sprinkle with Daiya cheese. (can be made ahead and refrigerated at this point, just cover with plastic wrap.)

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Serves 6-8.

 

Vegan “Condensed” Cream of Mushroom Soup

2 T grapeseed oil

¾ c chopped shallots

1 lbs white mushrooms, sliced

1 lbs crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 t fresh thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 c cream sherry

3 T potato starch

1 c vegetable broth

½ c almond milk

¼ t freshly ground nutmeg

Juice of ½ lemon

In a large saucepan, heat oil to medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add mushrooms and thyme leaves, and sauté for 7-8 minutes or until mushrooms release their juices and get soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add sherry and cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices are nearly all evaporated. Add potato starch and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add broth and stir. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the soup using a stick blender (or puree in batches using a regular blender), and place back over heat. Add almond milk, nutmeg, and lemon juice and stir well. Season to taste with salt as needed.

(For a regular, non-condensed soup, add an additional 2-3 cups of broth)

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Rice, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Chicken and Broccoli Penne in a Bacon Cream Sauce

Food 1747Did I have your attention at the mention of bacon? The other day, when I was brainstorming names for this dish, I rattled this one off to my husband, to which he replied “I’d order it off of a menu.” Sold.

Pretty fance name though. Sounds like I spent hours on the dish. To be perfectly honest with you, this quick recipe was born out of necessity. See, I had planned to make an easy, family-pleasing Skillet Cordon Bleu, but arrived home from work to find that not only was the Canadian bacon bad (just bought it the other day, don’t know what happened there. Ew.) but in addition, I grossly overestimated how many chicken breasts we had remaining in the freezer. (I had forgotten to defrost the chicken the night before, triple whammy!) There were only two in the house. Obviously poor planning on my part. Time for Plan B.

Let’s see…Plan B…what was Plan B?

Thinking…thinking…thinking… (Just imagine me, standing in the pantry, then staring at the fridge. Back to the pantry. Fridge. Pantry. Fridge. Pantry.)

Pasta!

Pasta is always easy, and it is one way to stretch a small amount of meat (and the budget!) without complaints from the family. Plus, I earn bonus points with our oldest whenever I make pasta. The boy could eat his weight in pasta if we let him. (Which, if it was a whole grain pasta, that might not be the worst thing I could do…) Anyway, what else to add to the pasta and chicken? I had some fresh broccoli, a little bacon, cream cheese, and Parmesan, so we were in business!

This dish took around 30 minutes from start to finish, and was satisfying and tasty! The parsley, which came from my garden, really made the dish fresh and bright. The addition of the beer (I didn’t have wine on hand, so I improvised) and the Parmesan really added depth and fullness to the sauce, without making it heavy. I always consider pasta dishes to be comfort food, although in this instance, the addition of broccoli, the use of chicken breasts and a high-fiber pasta makes me feel a little less guilty about the nutritional content. Does this mean that I can rationalize my way into having seconds? Why yes, I believe I can!

8 oz penne pasta

2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch dice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ t crushed red pepper

1 T olive oil

1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets (can include stems too!)

2 strips bacon, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c beer (or white wine, if you prefer)

3 oz cream cheese

½ c milk

¼ c Parmesan, grated

1/3 c parsley, chopped

 Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook penne pasta according to directions.

 Meanwhile, bring a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and the crushed red pepper. Add olive oil to pan, and once shimmering, add chicken, spreading out into a single layer. Allow to cook, untouched, for 3-4 minutes, and then stir to turn pieces over. Cook until no longer pink, about 6-7 minutes total. Remove from pan and set aside.

 Using a medium saucepan and a steamer insert, steam broccoli until crisp-tender.

 Add bacon to sauté pan. Turn heat down to medium, and cook bacon for 4-5 minutes or until crisp. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

 Add beer and scrape bottom of pan to remove brown bits. Let reduce until beer is almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add cream cheese and milk, and allow cream cheese to melt and milk to warm without boiling, stirring occasionally. Once completely warmed and simmering, add parmesan, and stir to incorporate. Add chicken, pasta, and broccoli and stir. Add parsley and stir.

 Serves 4.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Main Dishes, Pasta