I almost let January slip away without a blog post. Christmas vacation for me extended from December 19, when my daughter E came home from college, until January 23, when she went back. During that time, I did a lot of cooking but absolutely no creating of new recipes because I was busy making E all of her old favorites. Apparently, even with a college dining hall with a dedicated vegan station, the food choices get old, and she came home craving home cooking.
I was prepared for her to ask for lasagna, pasta with white sauce, and macaroni and cheese, but I wasn’t expecting her to want so many mashed potatoes. I made them for our substitute “Thanksgiving meal” with baked tofu and pumpkin cheesecake and again the night before she flew back to school–she ate the leftovers in the car on the way to the airport, determined to enjoy them right up until the last minute. Whatever mistakes I’ve made as a parent, instilling an unhealthy fear of carbs is not one of them!
I kept intending to make vegan scalloped potatoes while she was here, and this recipe was brewing in the back of my mind for a few weeks, but any time I suggested it, E preferred mashed. So it wasn’t until today that I finally got around to trying out my idea for a scalloped potato dish with a sauce made from chickpeas and no starch or flour as thickener. Actually, I’ve been making the sauce for a couple of months now, heating it on the stove and serving it over baked potatoes, so putting it all into a casserole dish together is really only being practical. It saves me from having to bake the potatoes and sauce separately and dirtying a saucepan. It’s probably the easiest cheesy sauce I’ve ever made, but it’s not highly seasoned, so if you want to kick it up a notch or two, add some hot smoked paprika or chipotle powder.
- 3/4 cup chickpeas, canned or home cooked with liquid
- 3/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk, plain and unsweetened
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, snipped
- 2 pounds potatoes, Yukon gold or red
- additional snipped chives, for garnish
- Open a can of chickpeas. Pour the liquid into a 2-cup measuring cup and add enough non-dairy milk to reach the 1 1/2 cup mark. (If using home-cooked chickpeas, use 3/4 cup cooking liquid.) Pour into blender. Add 3/4 cup of chickpeas, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, turmeric, and pepper. Blend on high speed until completely smooth. Add the chives without blending and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400F and lightly oil a medium-sized casserole dish. (The oil prevents sticking; leave it out at your own risk.)
- Wash the potatoes and peel them if you like. Slice them about 1/4-inch thick (a mandolin speeds up the process and ensures that they are all the same thickness.) Place about a third of them overlapping to cover the bottom of the dish. Pour about 1/2 cup of the sauce over them. Add another layer and cover with another 1/2 cup of sauce. Repeat with remaining potatoes and sauce.
- Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 15-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. If the top starts to brown too much, loosely cover with foil until potatoes are done.
- Sprinkle with additional chives and serve hot.
I promise to be back with a new post in less than a month this time. Maybe I’ll make something for the Super Bowl. Any requests?
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