The #Vegan Who Wasn’t There #Recipe

Sometimes our vegan daughter attends “big family” gatherings, and sometimes she doesn’t. If I know she’s attending or if I’m not certain she won’t, I make a vegan dish to take (the gatherings are pitch-ins).

I always label the vegan dish so non-vegans won’t eat it by mistake and make a fuss when they find out it’s vegan, but guess what? They eat it anyway and go out of their ways to say how good it is!

The dish I made this time is what you might call “naturally vegan,” meaning that it comes from a “regular” cookbook and simply doesn’t include any meat, eggs, or dairy among the ingredients. One exception: It does specify a cup of cheese to be melted over the top.

The recipe comes from COUNTRY CASSEROLES.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minched
  • 2 cans (about 15 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups cooked small shell pasta
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat 2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 4 minutes or until onion is tender.
  3. Add beans, pasta, tomato sauce, seasoning, salt and pepper; mix well.
  4. Transfer to prepared casserole; sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

beanpastacasseroleNATURALLY, I didn’t make it quite this way. I found I was out of cannellini beans, so I used Great Northern. I didn’t have small shell pasta, so I used vegetable rotini, which was prettier, anyway. I don’t have “Italian seasoning,” so I mixed oregano, basil, and parsley and used that. I had to make it a day ahead of time, so I got as far as transferring it to the casserole dish, covered it and refrigerated it, and microwaved it before we left the next day.

And, of course, I made vegan “cheese” from Jo Stepaniak’s THE ULTIMATE UNCHEESE COOKBOOK.


  • 2 cups water or plain soymilk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sesame tahini
  • 1/4 cup kuzu, arrowroot, or cornstarch
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Lightly oil a 3-cup rectangular mold, loaf pan, or other small rectangular or oval container. Alternatively, for round slices, oil a small, straight-sided, cylindrical container.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process several minutes until completely smooth. Pour into a saucepan and cook and stir over medium heat until very thick and smooth. Pack into the prepared container. Cool uncovered in the refrigerator. When completely cool, cover and chill overnight. To serve, turn out of the mold and carefully slice with an oiled or water-moistened knife (the cheez will be very soft and a bit sticky). Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Will keep about 5 to 7 days.

beanpastacookedPost-party depredations. I also sprinkled the top with PARMEZANO SPRINKLES from the same uncheez cookbook, but that’s enough recipes. Buy the book. You’ll be glad.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character brings something specifically for one person, but people who aren’t supposed to like that thing all want and like it.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “The #Vegan Who Wasn’t There #Recipe

  1. Joey

    November 2, 2016 at 8:41am

    Beans and pasta are so underrated, yumma! I’m with you all the way to non-cheese-cheese. I think I’d rather have cheese or no cheese.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 2, 2016 at 10:29am

      I hear ya, Joey, but this non-cheese cheese was actually VERY tasty! I usually use real cheese, but this was for the vegan, so….

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Dan Antion

    November 2, 2016 at 2:04pm

    Hmmm ??? I don’t like Hummus, but I like white bean Hummus, so maybe this would be OK, but I’d be sad without the cheese and a little sad without some meat sauce. Actually, my wife does periodically make a pasta dish without meat sauce, so I guess I’d survive.

    Of course, I’d probably say: “I’m saving that for the Vegans” and just look for the plate of ribs 🙂

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 2, 2016 at 3:36pm

      Mmmm, a plate of ribs sounds GOOD. It must be fall/winter; that’s when I crave meat the most.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. Jane

    November 3, 2016 at 10:24am

    Yummy, hungry-making food!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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