Nacho Tots Casserole

I think this would be the perfect dish to bring to your neighborhood potluck or to your Thanksgiving feast with family.

It has the tastes and textures that omnivores are used to, and it seems almost the perfect “gateway” recipe to living a vegan life. It doesn’t hurt at all that it is just plain delicious!

– Linda Nelson

Nacho Tots Casserole

First make the cheesy sauce.

Nacho Cheezy Sauce
Ingredients:
3 cups soy milk or other non dairy milk
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup raw cashews (these will need to soak for a couple of hours or overnight unless you have a powerful food processor or blender.)
3 tablespoons oat flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Directions:
Add all of the ingredients to a blender jar or food processor. Blend the mixture on high until all is smooth

Pour the mixture into a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer while whisking. Once it simmers, turn the heat down, and cook while whisking until the sauce has thickened.

Now make the casserole!

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil or cooking spray
1 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (I didn’t have any, but I’m sure they would add to the dish.)
1 recipe Nacho Cheezy Sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 two pound bag of potato tots, thawed
paprika for sprinkling
hot sauce (optional)

Directions”
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a 13 x 9 inch glass casserole dish with olive oil or oil spray.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, and cook, until the onions are soft and slightly browned.

Stir in the scallions and the hot sauce, if using, into the cheese sauce. Add salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the onions and the thawed potato tots. Gently fold the sauce in just until all is coated. Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 15 minutes.

I added 1 cup of black beans and 1 small can of sliced black olives to the top of the casserole after the initial 15 minute baking time.

Bake another 5 to 10 minutes after you’ve added toppings until the casserole is piping hot.

Remove from the oven and add chopped tomatoes, sliced scallions, or anything else you’d like to the top, and serve.

This was adapted from the excellent Vegan Casseroles book by Julie Hasson.

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