April 19, 2012

Zucchini & Kale Casserole

As I drove home this evening, I kept wondering about what I would make for dinner tonight. I had 2 zucchini sitting in the fridge that I absolutely needed to use soon and I also had a large bunch of kale, which was also teetering on the brink. I decided that there had to be recipe out there that would allow me to use both. Sure enough, a quick Google search lead me to a blog called "Epicurean Vegan" where I found this wonderful recipe for a "Zucchini & Kale Breakfast Frittata".  As soon as gave it a quick read through - I knew it was a winner!! 

Since I modified the recipe based on the ingredients I had on hand, I'm presenting the recipe as I made it here. Credit for the original definitely goes to Epicurean Vegan

Prep Time: 30-40 min

  1. 4 links of MorningStar Farms® Veggie Breakfast Sausage  
  2. 2 medium Zucchini, sliced
  3. 12-15 fresh, or dried Oyster mushrooms (New Veggie #14) - I used dried mushrooms.
  4. 2-3 cups of Kale (New Veggie #23), stalks removed and leaves torn
  5. 1 medium tomato, diced
  6. 5-7 Wasa Whole Grain crackers, crumbled
  7. 1 packet Veggie Shreds, Cheddar & Pepper Jack blend
  8. 1 tbsp minced Garlic
  9. 2 tbsp dried Onion flakes 
  10. 1 tbsp dried Parsley flakes
  11. 1/8 cup Vegetable broth
  12. Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
Preheat oven to 350F. In a sauce pot, bring 1/4 cup of water to boil and add the frozen links of breakfast sausage and dried mushrooms. Allow the water to simmer for a couple of minutes and then turn off heat, cover and let sit. After a few minutes remove sausage links (should be well thawed); crumble with a fork.  

Line a non-stick skillet with vegetable broth and add garlic, parsley, onion flakes and crumbled sausage and cook for a few minutes. When the broth is almost all evaporated, drain mushrooms and add to the skillet as well. You can save the water used to reconstitute the mushrooms for later, but sometimes it can be gritty, so it may need to be strained if you want to use it in a recipe. Saute the mushrooms for a few minutes. 

Then, add the sliced zucchini and toss everything together. Sprinkle some salt over the squash to make it sweat and begin to cook. Add a splash of water, if necessary, to prevent sticking in the pan. 

Meanwhile, crumble the Wasa crackers by putting them in a ziploc bag and pounding the bag with a rolling  pin. It's a great way of letting out your frustrations from a rough day at work too ;-) !! Once crumbled, line the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with crackers and top with a thin layer of cheese. 

Once the zucchini begins to gain a slightly translucent look (just beginning to cook), add the kale to the skillet and toss everything together. Allow to wilt. Add another splash of water, if necessary, to prevent sticking. This step can be hastened by putting a lid on the skillet. 

Once the kale is wilted, transfer the veggies to the prepared casserole dish, over the layer of crumbled crackers and cheese. 

Top off the veggies with a layer of finely diced tomatoes ... 

And another layer of cheese. I also added a generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper. The original recipe called for covering the dish with foil and baking, or baking uncovered for crisper Kale. I decided to bake it uncovered. Set the timer to 15 minutes. The layer of crackers absorbs any moisture from the veggies if they sweat and in just 15 minutes, the casserole is perfectly done!!  

I let it sit for a couple of minutes before I cut into it. 

My Assessment: The original recipe called for Daiya cheddar shreds and Field Roast Sausage. I will definitely make this again, but only after I get those 2 products. I had bought both the sausage and veggie shreds I used today before I went 100% plant based and unfortunately neither of these met my current dietary habits. The casserole though was absolutely awesome. I could have eaten the whole pan but restrained myself to 1 serving.