Thursday, September 6, 2012

Couscous Casserole

I know my blog posts have been very sporadic, but it has been a very busy time for us.  It looks like we have sold our house and of course our time has been tied up with showings first, then inspections, and finally some minor repairs.  We have had our appraisal and survey done this week, so it looks like we are on target for our closing on September 21st.  Needless to say, our dinners have looked a little different since I have been pulling things out of the freezer to use up before we move.

For today's vegan dinner, I remembered a recipe from a long time ago that our god-daughter used to make.  It was a vegetarian dish that I turned into a vegan dish simply by using vegan cheeses.  I started by cooking up some couscous in vegetable broth and meanwhile sauteed some chopped onions with garlic until tender.  Once the couscous was done, I combined it with a little homemade Pomodoro sauce.  Half of the sauced couscous went in to an oiled loaf pan and topped with a little more of the Pomodoro sauce, sauteed onions and garlic, some vegan cheddar and mozzarella, and a layer of fresh baby spinach.  This was topped with the remaining couscous, Pomodoro and another layer of cheese.  The pan then went into the oven for 20 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.

This recipe is a recreation of what I vaguely remember someone making for me some 15-20 years ago.  I don't remember exactly what the original tasted like, but I thoroughly enjoyed this version.  I served a side of cooked green beans with this casserole.

Couscous Casserole
Makes 4-6 Servings

1 1/2 cups couscous
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 teaspoon butter substitute
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 ounces Pomodoro Sauce (or marinara or tomato sauce)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
Daiya shredded Cheddar
Daiya shredded Mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring vegetable broth to a simmer with butter substitute and salt.  Add couscous, stir, cover pan and remove from heat.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile saute onions in olive oil until just starting to turn translucent.  Add garlic and cook for about another minute until both onion and garlic are tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once couscous is done, fluff with a fork and add about 1/3 of the Pomodoro sauce.  Put half of the couscous mixture in a loaf pan that has been oiled.  Add about half of the remaining Pomodoro sauce, all of the sauteed onions and garlic and sprinkle with cheddar and mozzarella.  Add the remainder of the couscous, top with the remaining Pomodoro and sprinkle the top with more of the cheddar and mozzarella.

Place the loaf pan in  the preheated oven for 20 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted.

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