Today's recipe is "first-day-of-Autumn", rainy-day comfort food, pure and simple. It's my vegan version of an old, back-of-the-box classic; one of those 1960's-TV-dinner-era casseroles that everyone makes fun of, but we all secretly loved for their creamy, slurpy-noodle-filled, cozy goodness.
If you're wondering where the "gravy" is (since this IS still "Vegan Month of Gravy" and all) this dish is fondly known as "Chicken Gravy And Noodles" among the silver-haired church-potluck crowd of the American South. This is an easy recipe to throw together with items from your pantry and freezer, and leftovers (what?) reheat great the next day!
Happy first day of Fall (here in the United States anyway). Curl up on the couch in front of the fire, listen to the rain outside and enjoy a big, warm bowl of yum!
- 4 tablespoons margarine
- 12 - 14 ounces any type of noodle (I use broken spaghetti noodles)
- 10 ounces small white mushrooms, quartered
- 1 med-to-large onion, chopped or 1 leek, sliced
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced thin
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 cup white wine (or just use water)
- 4 cups vegetarian chicken-flavor broth OR vegetable broth plus 1 cup water
- 1 cup plant milk
- 1 cup frozen petite peas
- 1 cup finely chopped zucchini, green beans, corn or any mixed veggies you want, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups chopped vegan chicken product (I used 'Beyond Meat®") or cubed, firm tofu
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- crushed crackers or bread crumbs if desired for topping
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt to taste.
Cook noodles until al dente, about 4 minutes.
Drain noodles, set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the margarine in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, celery, onion, carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.
Melt remaining margarine into pot of vegetables. Sprinkle in flour, dill, onion powder, a few grinds of pepper and a sprinkle of salt. Whisk flour around with vegetables for a minute or two and then add wine. Continue to whisk, and add the broth-water mixture and plant milk, stirring with whisk the entire time.
Raise heat a bit. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Fold in the peas, zucchini, noodles, mushrooms, vegetarian chicken, parsley and lemon juice.
Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the buttered casserole dish and top with crushed crackers or breadcrumbs if desired.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until bubbly, and topping (if used) is browned a bit.