One of the things I love to do when creating recipes is to take something I used to enjoy in my "pre-vegan" days and turn it into a delicious and healthy whole food, plant-based dish.
One such recipe that has been on my mind for awhile to remake is a ham casserole I created in high school. I remember creating this casserole for an assignment in my high school cooking class over 40 years ago. It was a hit then and I made it many times over the years in my "standard american diet" days. It contained canned ham, cheddar cheese, and a white sauce made with refined flour and was totally unhealthy - but very comforting.
So I hope you enjoy this redo of that 1978 favorite. It's creamy comfort food at its best!
Creamy Tofu Casserole
Makes 3 servings
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Un-chicken Tofu (see Notes)
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 cups whole grain croutons (see notes)
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1 tablespoon dry Sherry
1 cup of your favorite healthy vegan "cheese" (see notes), as topping
First make the cashew cream sauce by placing cashews and water in a high-power blender and blend until creamy. If you do not have a high-power blender you will need to soak the cashews in water for a couple of hours before blending in a regular blender.
Combine all ingredients except the "cheese" in a large bowl. Stir in the cashew cream sauce and transfer to a casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the "cheese" on top. Bake 10 more minutes.
If you don't want to season the tofu using my "un-chicken" method, feel free to season it however you like or use store-bought, pre-seasoned tofu.
To make the whole grain croutons, I cut two slices of Ezekiel bread into cubes, spread them on a cookie sheet, and toasted them in a 350 oven for 8 minutes.
I do not buy commercial vegan cheeses because they all have oil. For this recipe I used the easy cashew cheese mozzarella from eatplant-based.com. Anja Cass from Cookingwithplants.com also has some delicious oil-free "cheese" recipes. Try her soy and nut-free vegan cheese.