September 22, 2013

Best Autumnal Casserole

I came across this recipe yesterday when it was posted by One Green Planet. I follow them on Facebook and they often share the most awesome looking recipes.  This one seemed so easy to make (read painless) that I knew I had to try it. I would have made it yesterday except we didn't go grocery shopping until this morning and I had nothing at home except the spices I needed. The reason I say this recipe was painless is because even though it takes an hour or more to get to the table, your total effort is probably less than 15 minutes. Also, my adapted version is made with completely whole, minimally -processed, ingredients (I sub'd Tofurkey sausage with canned pinto beans) and used no butter or oil. 

The Best Fall Casserole
Adapted from: One Green Planet - The Best Fall Casserole

Prep Time: 15 min + ~1 hour in the oven

Ingredients (Serves 4):
  1. 1.5 lb Red Potatoes (cleaned, diced into large chunks)
  2. 1 lb bag of Crinkle-Cut carrots
  3. 1 Large Green Bell pepper
  4. 1/2 Large Yellow onion
  5. 1/2 Large Red Onion
  6. 1 tsp powdered garlic
  7. 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
  8. 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  9. 1/4 tsp Sea salt
  10. 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
  11. 1/4 tsp dried Parsley
  12. 1 3/4 cups Home-made Vegetable broth
  13. 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  14. 1 cup Canned Beans (I used Pinto)
Preheat oven to 425° F. Meanwhile cut red onion into large chunks and line the bottom of a heavy baking pot with the onion. Next, add a layer of crinkle cut carrots and top off with large chunks of white onions.

Wash thoroughly with a vegetable brush, remove any dirt-filled eyes, and cut potatoes into large bite-sized chunks. I did not peel the potatoes as I prefer to leave the extra nutrients and fiber in my veggies. Add potatoes as your fourth layer and top off with chunks of green bell pepper. 

Finally, on top, add a layer of beans. I used pinto beans today but I think any kind of bean would work well in this casserole. Feel free to use red kidney beans or even any variety of white beans. The purpose is basically to add a source of complex carbohydrates and protein. In a small bowl, mix all the spices with the vegetable broth and balsamic vinegar, and pour over the veggies in your baking dish. Cover, and place the entire pot in the oven for about an hour. Check to make sure that the potatoes are tender and it's done. Turn off oven and let sit until ready to serve. 

I made this casserole this afternoon in my Le Creuset and simply turned off the oven before we left the house to go for a hike. I knew the Le Creuset would hold the heat and cook any hint of crispness out of the potatoes and also keep our dinner warm for when we got home. We hiked for almost 2 hours and drove about 30 minutes each way. This is how this casserole looked when we all got home. The house was filled with the aroma of the oregano and parsley and we were all starving. I made some Texas toast for the kiddos, reheated my pot on the stove and we enjoyed this hearty meal. It was an awesome meal to come home to after a good day in the woods! 

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving): Calories 256 (Fat Calories 7)
Total Fat 0.8 g; Carbohydrates 54.6 g; Fiber 11.0 g; Sugars 10.6 g; Protein 8.3 g

If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out my Recipe Index for more Whole-Food, Plant-Based, No-Added-Oil recipes. You can also like Rugrat Chow! on Facebook. Thanks!

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