Because I like to cook, I love having nice pots, pans, etc. in the kitchen. But because we don’t plan to stay in Malaysia forever I do not like spending money on high quality kitchen stuff. So there are a lot of things I do without in the kitchen. Last month when one of the stores here had a special where if you spent a certain amount you could buy some pyrex pans for really cheap, I just couldn’t resist! I was so excited! Luckily we happened to be spending the required amount of money that day to be able to purchase two pans at the reduced price (70% off!) I bought one 10 by 10 glass square baking dish, and a 2L round casserole with a lid. Finally I can bake a proper casserole!! Here is the first one that I made in that dish. I had some leftover rice, so decided to make a “tuna” rice casserole.
Vegan Rice Chickpea Casserole
4cups (approximately) cooked rice
1 3/4C (1 can) mashed chickpeas (add up to 1tsp kelp powder for fishy taste if desired)
2 c chopped broccoli or other vegetable of your choice
Some sauteed mushrooms and celery would be awesome in this as well, I didn’t have any on hand.
3 cups non dairy milk of your choice (I used unsweetened almond, loved it!)
2-3T margarine or oil
1 small onion, chopped
2T nutritional yeast (optional, makes the sauce more “cheesy”)
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 3/4 tsp salt, next time I’ll use 1tsp)
Bread Crumb Topping:
Approximately 1c toasted breadcrumbs. I mixed in 1T nutritional yeast, 1/4 tsp of pepper and paprika. You can use any herbs/seasonings you’d like.
To make sauce:
saute onion in butter or oil until golden brown (I did it on very low heat for about 20 minutes so they were somewhat caramelized – yum!!). Remove from heat. Add flour and stir. Slowly add milk, stirring to prevent lumps. Add nutritional yeast if using and stir. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Add salt and pepper to taste. I know this pot is very large for this little sauce, but this is my pressure cooker pot which has a nice thick bottom and will not burn the onions!
Add the broccoli and mashed chickpeas to the cream sauce:
Mix it up! Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. It still needs to be stirred with the rice, so it should be a little on the salty side right now.
Stir into your cooked rice. I used leftover rice and I’m not really sure on the amount. My best guess is about 4 cups, but it could have been a little more. add enough so it’s creamy but not soupy. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Pour your casserole into your casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 F for approximately 1 hour.
When I make this again I think I’ll use peas instead of broccoli. I love broccoli, but when it’s in a casserole it kind of tends to overwhelm the other flavors. I added kelp powder to my chickpeas, but I won’t do that next time. I’ll definitely add more black pepper, I ran out this time, only had a dash 😦 Other than that it was quite tasty! I know it was a success because Naren asked if there were leftovers the next day.