Many thanks to a very busy family and career gal who took the time to share this delicious with us. Thank you, Tina! This is one of her creations which just happens to be simple to fix and delicious. We hope she will be sharing many more with nbjconsulting.com.
And oh yes -- please remember the #1 rule -- There are none! Be bold and creative with any changes that suit your tastes and enjoy this freedom with all your plant-based recipes. You can see how I added my own twists to this recipe below.
Tina's Casserole for Pasta, a Side Dish or Nutritious Snacking
? Saute a pack of Beyond Crumbles (can get these in frozen section of stores --beefy or spicy options) in a skillet with cracked black pepper, salt and onions (or whatever flavorings and seasonings you prefer)
?️ Cover the bottom of your casserole dish with half a jar of arabiatta sauce (a bit spicey and okay to substitute with any other favorite tomato based sauce)
➕ Add the sauteed crumbles to the casserole dish
- ? Slice a good amount of raw white mushrooms (or other mushrooms of your choice) on top of the crumbles
- ? Add a good amount of baby spinach as the next layer
- ? Pour the rest of the sauce on top
- ? Top with non-dairy mozzarella or a preferred cheese of your choice (cheddar perhaps?)
- ⏳Bake for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees (but since all ovens have their temperatures quirks, probably good to watch closely the last 10 minutes or so)
- ♨Broil only briefly until the "mozzarella" is lightly browned (again, watch verrrry closely)
- ?Time to enjoy! Tina serves this over angel hair pasta (her hubby's favorite) or other noodles of choice. She loves it as a quick and healthy snack by itself or perhaps you'd like to give a salad a bit more pop by sprinkling some on top. Thanks from all of us, Tina, and please keep sharing your fun and yummy creations!
How I Tweaked this Recipe a Bit
- ? Sprinkled a generous helping of nutritional yeast on top of the last layer of sauce before I added the spinach and cheese.
- ? Added 1 six ounce jar of drained mushrooms, garlic powder (to taste -- I used lots of garlic powder) and ancho chile powder - maybe 1-2 tsps or to taste (love its sweetness and smokiness) when sauteeing the Crumbles and onion in olive oil. NOTE: I added the ancho chile powder since I had no Arabiatta sauce on hand and had to use a plain tomato-basil pasta sauce. The Crumbles I had on hand were, however, the "Fiesty" type so it was plenty spicy for us after adding the chile powder.
- ? Used raw organic spinach (maybe 5 - 7 ounces) and made a nice generous layer of it. I would assume using thawed and drained frozen spinach would work as well.
- ? Put six (6) slices of vegan cheddar cheese on top and baked for 30 minutes uncovered for 30 minutes (as noted above, keep an eye on it the last 10 minutes of cooking just in case it needs to come out sooner or bake a bit longer). If you like your cheese a bit on the well done side then perhaps a watchful eye under the broiler for a couple of minutes would be good.
- ? Served this wonderful dish over Annie's sticky brown rice along with a glass of il fiori Pala red wine.
- P.S. I haven't tried this next suggestion yet, but if you prefer noodles of some kind with this awesome dish, I believe you could add a layer or two of uncooked lasagna noodles to this recipe, cover in foil for first 20 minutes or so, then uncover and bake another approximately 20 minutes and viola - no time having to be spent boiling the noodles, no rice to cook and you have a full meal in your casserole dish just waiting to be enjoyed.
- P.S.S. Please take a few minutes to add your suggestions and two cents worth in the comment section below - the more ideas, recipes and creative recipe tweaks we all exchange, the better we can make all of them.