Thanksgiving: that time of the year where you try to show that you are a competent adult who knows how to cook and take care of herself, mom! Oh, is that just me? 0.0
All kidding aside! This is the first year that I will be bringing a dish to family Thanksgiving. And my first year fully vegan. And I am the only vegan there. So, the pressure felt a bit high this year to create something that was tasty, healthy, and devoid of animal products!
My first thought was to do something with corn. However, it turns out there are already a few dishes with corn in them. But, one vegetable that no one seemed to have used yet was Broccoli! So, I researched away and found my dish: Vegan Broccoli Casserole.
Don’t get me wrong, I will be stuffing my face as much as I can for dinner on Thanksgiving! And a casserole packed full with processed Vegan Cheese sounds amazing!! I love Vegan Cheese! But, I wanted to be different from everyone else. I know, what a hipster! But it is true! I knew there would be lots of unhealthy/not-as-healthy dishes to go around. So, I decided to go as healthy as I can! Whole-Foods Plant Based!
It’s fun to be able to make a dish once a year because it can only be made for one specific holiday. But, I want to share a dish that can be made all year round! Since I am the only vegan in my family, I wanted to make a dish that could be made later on. A dish that my family will love, ask for the recipe, and make it as a side dish throughout the whole year – especially at the beginning of the new year when we are all striving to be REALLY healthy.
Don’t get me wrong – for all you non-vegans out there – I’m not expecting my family to fall so hard for this dish that they will go vegan over night. But I would love to see them making a dish that doesn’t include any animals at all! Every amount counts in my book. The more we can do the better!
Also, I just really love Broccoli. And Nutritional Yeast.
7-10 ounces of Chickpea Crumbs (Breadcrumbs will work just fine.)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 435 degrees F.
Grab a 9×13 Casserole Dish and add the frozen Broccoli. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The Broccoli should be tender.
As the Broccoli is baking, let’s make the sauce! Add the Plant Milk, Nutritional Yeast, Salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Soaked Cashews into a blender/food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Preheat large skillet/saucepan over medium heat.
Add diced Onion to pan. Cook until golden brown. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add sauce to the skillet/saucepan and stir.
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce should thicken slightly. Remove from heat once finished.
When Broccoli is finished, remove from oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F.
Pour sauce over the Broccoli. Stir until combined. Optional: Save a portion of the sauce to top the casserole with once it is finished.
Season with salt and pepper.
Spread Chickpea Crumbs (Breadcrumbs) over top the Broccoli Sauce mixture. Create an even layer.
Place casserole back in the oven (middle rack) for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Optional: Top with more Nutritional Yeast and remaining Sauce!
Soak the Raw Cashews overnight or for 6-8 hours. Don’t have that much time? Grab a pot and fill it will enough water to cover all of the Raw Cashews. Bring to boil. Bring it down to a low boil and let sit for 15 minutes.
If you love flavor feel free to add more Nutritional Yeast and Apple Cider Vinegar. Don’t go crazy! Just add a bit more.
If you use Chickpea Crumbs or something else that can be a bit dry, try to coat with oil before spreading them out. Or top the casserole with some vegan butter. It will add more moisture.
This dish will cool down fairly quickly. Either reheat it before serving or leave in oven on warm feature.
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