Let's Talk Vegan

Cheesy Fusilli Casserole with Smoked Tofu

This casserole is just as nutritious as it is delicious. Packed with loads of dark leafy greens, gooey vegan cheese, and smoked tofu.

I have been working on making my own vegan cheese, but I haven't quite gotten the flavour right. Because of this, I haven't made alfredo pasta since going vegan, which has been a while... Then, I found this yummy smoked gouda cheese and had to make pasta.

So, if you're thinking, hmm this casserole seems extreme, it's because it is. I have taken every alfredo I've ever loved and made this masterpiece. Now, for the last 2 weeks, my diet has been a toggle between this casserole and this Jerk Tofu Sandwich.

Not the worst diet to have though, you got your leafy greens, protein, carbs, and of course cheese, and more cheese.

Cheesy fusilli casserole with tofuVegan fusilli casserole

The Charred Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are crazy good for you, so I have been trying to make more recipes with them. Love them? Hate them? Let me know what you think about Brussel sprouts in the comments below.

Okay, start by preheating the oven to 400° F.

Now, to prepare the Brussel sprouts, slice the steams off the bottom of Brussel sprouts. Then, cut the smaller ones in half and the large ones into quarters.

Next, place on a large baking sheet. If some of the leaves fall off, don't worry, just throw them onto the baking sheet as well, they'll crisp up nicely. Now, drizzle the olive oil over top, followed by the roughly chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. Evenly coat the Brussel sprouts by tossing everything together.

Place in the oven, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the leaves on the Brussel sprouts become slightly charred. Cooking the Brussel sprouts this way will give them a smoky flavor, but a crispy texture.

The Fusilli Pasta

Time to get the pasta cooking!

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then add the pasta. Cook according to the package (about 10 minutes), but leave slightly al dente, then drain. You'll be adding the noodles to the casserole to cook for an additional 30 minutes later in the recipe, so don't overcook the noodles.

Once finished, add the fusilli pasta to the casserole dish. Don't rinse the noodles, so that the sauce will stick to the pasta better!

The Casserole

Now that the pasta is taken care of, let's move onto the veggies.

In a large, deep frying pan add the olive oil and minced garlic. Cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until you can begin to smell the garlic.

Next, add the finely chopped red onion. Cook over low-medium heat for about 5-7 minutes or until they begin to soften. Dump the cubed portobello mushrooms into the pan, cover, and cook for 5 minutes on low-medium heat. Then, toss the broccoli florets and frozen pucks of spinach into the pan. Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Once pasta is al dente, add it to the casserole dish, followed by the veggies, charred Brussel sprouts (once finished), and frozen peas. Set aside.

The Gooey Vegan Cheese Sauce

If your oven is off, turn it to 350° F. If it's still on, you know what to do -just turn it down.

To make sure the cheese sauce is nice and thick, we are going to make a roux. Start by melting the vegan butter or margarine over low-medium heat. Once melted, add the flour, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. This should make a nice light roux, that has a slight puff to it. The fusilli pasta will suck up some moisture when you bake it, so don't get too caught up on the roux. It'll all work out!

Next, over low-medium heat, slowly pour in the cashew cream, stirring constantly. Then, add the nutritional yeast (this will also help to thicken the sauce), followed by the Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, and cubed vegan smoked gouda cheese. Cook until the sauce thickens and the vegan gouda is just slightly melted, that way you have little pockets of cheese throughout your casserole.

Vegan cheese sauce

Home Stretch

So the fusilli pasta is in the casserole dish, as are the charred Brussel sprouts, and other veggies. All that's left is to add the cubed smoked tofu and to pour the vegan cheese over top, then mix everything together.

Pop into the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until hot all the way through.

Vegan fusilli casserole with tofu chunks

Cheesy Fusilli Casserole with Smoked Tofu

This casserole is just as nutritious as it is delicious. Packed with loads of dark leafy greens, gooey vegan cheese, and smoked tofu.
Course
Prep Time
20 Minutes
Cook Time
60 Minutes
Servings
8 People
INGREDIENTSINSTRUCTIONS
    The Charred Brussel Sprouts
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut steams off bottom of Brussel sprouts, then cut them in half or quarters if larger.
  3. Place onto baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, roughly chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
  4. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until slightly charred.
  5. The Casserole
  6. Bring large pot, lighly salted water to boil, add pasta. Cook according to package, but leave al dente.
  7. In a large, deep frying pan add minced garlic and olive oil. Cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes or until you can smell garlic.
  8. Next, add the finely chopped red onion. Cook over low-medium for 5-7 minutes or until softened.
  9. Now, dump the cubed portobello mushrooms into the pan, cover, and cook for 5 minutes on low-medium heat.
  10. Then, toss the broccoli and frozen pucks of spinach into the pan. Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  11. Once pasta is al dente, add to casserole dish followed by the veggies, charred Brussel sprouts, and frozen peas. Set aside.
  12. The Vegan Cheese Sauce
  13. Preheat oven to 350° F
  14. Melt vegan butter over medium-low heat.
  15. Then, add the flour. Stir for 2-3 minutes until you have light roux that's slightly puffy.
  16. Pour in the cashew cream slowly, stirring constantly.
  17. Next, dump in the nutritional yeast, followed by the Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, and vegan smoked gouda cheese.
  18. Cook over low heat until cheese is slighly melted and sauce is thickened.
  19. Home Stretch
  20. Pour the vegan cheese sauce over the casserole dish filled with veggies and pasta.
  21. Over, then place in preheat oven 30 minutes.
RECIPE NOTES
  • Cut the vegan smoked gouda cheese into smaller chunks to help it melt quickier.
  • You can also sprinkle some vegan cheese on the top.
 
 
#comfortfood#casserole#cheesy#mealprep#feedanarmy#kidfriendly
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