Anybody missing a hearty casserole with creamy melted cheese on top? Well, try this one, it´s not exactly the same, but it is equally good, I dare say!
I had some cooked rice which I mixed with oil-sauteed leek, mushrooms and carrot slices. For the cheese I purchased a block of smoked tofu which I pureed in the blender with water, lemon juice, salt and black pepper, until I got the consistency of cream cheese. I spread the “cheese” on top of the rice/vegetable mixture, in a deep casserole dish, and baked in the oven for about 20 minutes until the “cheese” became light golden.
What an odd dish, I can hear you saying! 😀 Well, it´s one of those wild ideas coming from my very own head and I admit it´s not a meal you would read about anywhere in any cookbook…But it turned out rather well, so I am publishing it here for your kind consideration 😀
I cooked separately about two servings of buckwheat pasta (made by a fabulous Czech buckwheat company) and about two servings of long grain brown rice. After cooling down I mixed them together in a large bowl and added some vegetables – raw chopped celery stalk and leek and raw grated carrot and celery root. I seasoned the funny mixture with some shoyu sauce, smoked paprika powder and dried oregano. I poured it into a casserole dish and topped with a topping which I made by combining grated tempeh (you could use fried tempeh or smoked tempeh, any tempeh that is already flavoured and not plain) with corn starch mixed in some cold water and some nutritional yeast powder (adds extra “cheesiness”). I popped the dish into the oven and baked until crusty and browned.
I know that the cold part of the year is already behind us and spring is in full blossom, but anyway – I really enjoy making oven-baked dishes, especially for dinner. I think it has to do with my need of variety of food preparation, and baking is just one of many methods. Be sure to always use some light uplifting steamed or blanched veggies, or something raw with these dishes 😀
I had leftover rice+hato mugi mixture which I put in an even layer on the bottom of my silicone baking pan. Then I made the next layer with long-sauteed caramelized red onions (just sautee on water+pinch of salt, at least 15 minutes), another layer of grated smoked tofu and a layer of grated raw young carrot. Then came the second part of the grain mixture and on the very top some sauteed onion mixed into the grated tofu. Bake in a preheated oven on about 200°C until the top gets crusty and golden.
I served the dish with olives, fresh rucola, red radishes and portulac, and some homemade carrot pickles.