The Blender Girl (Ten Speed Press), by Tess Masters, offers 100 gluten-free, vegan recipes that are healthy whole-food concoctions to nourish your body and satisfy your taste buds. It also offers food education with nut-milk cheat sheets, soaking and sprouting chart and nutrient guides. The following excerpt from Chapter 7, "The Main Event," is a recipe for a veggie bake.
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This recipe is a commitment; it’s the most involved dish in the book, but it also gets raves like “epic” every time I put it on the table. I made the yield extremely generous to make the payoff worth the effort. This dish is absolutely scrumptious and hearty on its own, but you can also add cannellini beans or chickpeas along with the green beans to boost the protein. If you blend in some extra broth with the cauliflower, the sauce makes a spectacular soup.
Veggie Bake Recipe
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 cups (300g) diced yellow onion
• Natural salt
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
• 2 cups (480ml) vegetable broth
• 1/2 cup (70g) raw unsalted cashews
• 1 head cauliflower (about 13/4 pounds/800g), cut into florets and steamed
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
• 1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
• 1/8 teaspoon paprika
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/2 butternut squash (or pumpkin), peeled, seeded, and very thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup (20g) plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion (white and green parts)
• 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
• 1/4 cup (12g) plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 3 large potatoes, very thinly sliced
• 1 pound (450g) green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
• 1 large orange-flesh sweet potato, peeled and very thinly sliced
• 1 cup (90g) sliced almonds
• 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
1. To make the sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a shallow saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the garlic and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onion starts to brown. Put the broth, cashews, and onion mixture into your blender and puree on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.
3. Add half of the cauliflower and blast on high for about 30 seconds more, until combined. Add the remaining cauliflower, 2 teaspoons of salt, the pepper, thyme, rosemary, paprika, cayenne, and lemon juice and puree for about 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) and lightly grease a 3-1/2-quart (3.5l) baking dish with oil.
5. To make the veggie bake, lay the butternut squash in the bottom of the baking dish in overlapping rows. Add 1-1/4 cups (300ml) of the sauce and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the green onion, 1 tablespoon of the chives, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley over the top.
6. Layer on the potatoes and cover with 1-1/4 cups (300ml) of the sauce. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons of the green onion, 1 tablespoon of the chives, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley.
7. Layer on the beans and cover with 1-1/4 cups (300ml) of the sauce. Sprinkle on the remaining green onion, chives, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley.
8. Add the sweet potatoes and cover with the remaining sauce.
9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and sprinkle the almonds and onion flakes over the top. Bake for about 15 minutes more, until the vegetables are cooked through.
10. Cool for 5 minutes, then serve family-style, sprinkled with the remaining parsley.
More Recipes from Blender Girl
Reprinted with permission from The Blender Girl by Tess Masters, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photography (c) 2014 by Anson Smart. Buy this book from our store: The Blender Girl: 100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes.