My non-vegan friends are often curious about what I can and can’t eat. “I’d miss eggs!” “I couldn’t do without cheese!” are the most common responses. I admit, the first month of being vegan, I did miss both. But now with recipes like this, those cravings are a thing of the past. I found myself drooling just now while editing the images for this post.
Today’s post is based on this recipe from The Fat Free Vegan. A few weeks ago, I made it very similarly to the original, subbing broccoli and kale for the broccoli rabe (because that’s what was in the fridge!). It was love at first frittata-y, gratin-y, quiche-y bite, and I knew I’d found more than a recipe; I’d found a method I could apply to many of my former egg custard type recipes. Oh stratas, how I’ve missed you! Anyway, if you’re already vegan, you probably have what you need in your fridge. Sub in whatever veggies you like/have on hand. The potatoes make it hearty and filling, so I’d recommend keeping them to serve this as a main dish.
For the Gratin:
- 1 pound small red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- salt and pepper to taste for each layer
- a small package of baby spinach, blanched
- 1 smallish yellow squash, cut into half-moons and steamed
- 1 smallish zucchini, cut into half moons and steamed
- 1 (12 oz) package extra firm tofu, drained but not pressed of all its liquid
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup plain non-dairy milk
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 heaping TBSP potato or corn starch
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp chipotle chile powder
- 1 tsp dried basil or 2 tsp fresh chopped basil
For Becky’s Famous Roasted Asparagus:
- 1 pound trimmed asparagus
- cooking spray
- sea salt
Preheat oven to 400F, and spray a 2 qt casserole or gratin dish. Wash and cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and arrange in a single layer on a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to assemble your gratin.
While potatoes bake, cut squash into half-moons and steam until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Blanch the spinach in boiling water until just wilted and drain.
In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and pourable, adding additional non-dairy milk as needed.
Assemble the gratin, starting with the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Next, layer on the spinach, season with salt and pepper.
Then layer the squash on top of the spinach. Separate by color if you like or mix them. Again, sprinkle salt and pepper.
Pour the tofu mixture over the top, and using a spoon, gently move the veggies around without mixing the layers to allow the tofu mixture to get in between. Smooth the top.
Bake 40-50 minutes, until the liquid has thickened, feels firm and is golden brown on top. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
While the gratin bakes, prepare Becky’s Famous Roasted Asparagus. Lay trimmed asparagus in single layer on a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with sea salt. While the gratin rests, bake the asparagus for 10-15 minutes–until you can smell it and the tips start to brown.
Serve up wedges of gratin with roasted asparagus on the side. OMGosh, so, so yummy! The smooth, gooey, almost cheesy texture and consistency of the gratin is very reminiscent of those eggy, custardy favorites. The asparagus is a favorite around here, especially in the spring when it can be stalked and harvested in the wild in the fields between Becky’s and my house. Her method also works with green beans (I added pressed garlic–yum!), and Brussels sprouts.
My son, currently not-vegan, thought the squash version was better than the broccoli version and suggested it would also be yummy for breakfast. And it was! He had his with an over-easy egg and cheese on top, Michael and I enjoyed it as is. (Michael’s with hot sauce, as usual!)
What will be in your gratin/quiche/fritatta/strata?!