I always take a vegan dish to family gatherings so our vegan family and friends have something to eat. This Thanksgiving, I made this casserole.
The basic recipe comes from Robin Robertson’s FRESH FROM THE VEGAN SLOW COOKER, but I didn’t use a slow cooker because the timing was wrong for that. Here’s what I did, with my alternatives after Robertson’s ingredients. Additionally, Robertson had the sweet potatoes go in raw, but I cooked mine first, since I wasn’t going to slow-cook them.
Black Bean Chili and Sweet Potato Casserole
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 leafy rib of celery, sliced, leaves chopped
1 small bell pepper, any color, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 (16-ounce) jar tomato salsa (or 1 can chopped tomatoes, drained, plus chipotle peppers to taste)
3 tablespoons tomato paste (or 1 teaspoon tomato-based vegetable bouillon paste)
2 medium cooked sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or Creamy Cheese Sauce)
Heat oil to medium. Cook the onions until they’re translucent and tender. Add garlic, celery, bell pepper, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and paprika, and cook about one minute, stirring constantly. Add salsa, tomato paste and black beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Oil a casserole dish. Put down a layer of the black bean mixture. Put down a layer of sweet potato slices. Put down a layer of cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese on top.
Cover and bake for an hour. Uncover and broil, if you like the cheese on top to be browned and crusty.
Creamy Cheese Sauce
1 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours and drained
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
½ teaspoon vegetable broth powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about sweet potatoes.