This dish had a working title of Green Mac ‘n Cheese and then in brackets – (the vegan addition) – right up until the last minute. When I realised it doesn’t actually have any cheese… because it’s vegan. Duh.
But Green Mac ‘n Cheese is a good name, don’t you think? If you don’t care to eat a vegan meal, then go right ahead and make this dish with cow’s milk and replace the crunchy crust with cheese – and then you can call it that.
If you are uniting with me today and eating vegan, then read on for an absolute stellar dish – yes, even if I do say so myself!
I am very, very late to jump on the bandwagon for kale. Its brassica charms have alluded me while I read blog post, after blog post of my fellow foodies waxing lyrical about the taste and amazing health benefits.
Well, now it’s my turn.
Kale. Wow. Where have you been all my life? I adore you.
The cousin of broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and other such vegetables that let off a gross gass when overcooked, this green beauty can actually withstand a little heat in the kitchen.
Here, I quickly sautéed it and then mixed it into the pasta with some vegan bechamel sauce (more on that in a minute) and then baked it. The kale stayed green, firm to the bite and downright delicious mingled in amongst the pasta.
If you can’t find kale for this recipe then substitute with silverbeet or spinach.
I really thought it couldn’t be done. But it can. It took a few tries, but soy milk can make a yummy bechamel sauce.
There’s no cheese in it, obviously, but a Dijon mustard and a good amount of seasoning really lifts it.
Try it half and half with cows milk next time to get you used to the idea and then go all the way – it works really well here with the lemon zest and herbs in the crunchy bread crust.
I realise this dish is not for everyone. Some people would run a mile (or more) if they found out their bechamel sauce was made with soy milk, and I have to admit, I do prefer the real thing (using cow’s milk). However, I really enjoy varying my family’s diet with lots of different types of food – and it’s nice for a change.
How about you? Would you eat bechamel made from soy milk?
Linking up with Veggie Mama’s Meatless Mondays. Click on through to find lots more yummy vegetarian meals.
Crunchy crust kale pasta bake
- 400g macaroni pasta (or other small-shaped pasta)
- 1 bunch (150g) kale (or other leafy vegetable such as spinach or silverbeet)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 625ml (2.5 cups) Vitasoy Original Soymilk
- 2 tablespoons dairy-free vegetable spread
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 slices multigrain bread, blitzed to make coarse breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon, zested
- 3-4 parsley sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or as per packet instructions until almost al dente. You want it a little underdone because it will be heated again in the oven later on. Drain well and then place into a 2L ovenproof baking dish. Set aside.
2. Roughly chop up the leaves and stems of the bunch of kale and add to a frying pan with the olive oil. Fry over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until just wilted. Transfer half the kale to a mini food processor and add a splash of soy milk. Blitz for 30 seconds until finely chopped and smooth. Pour over the pasta in the baking dish along with the rest of the wilted kale from the frying pan.
3. Heat the oven to 200C. Melt the margarine or butter in a small saucepan, add the cornflour and stir to form a paste. Slowly pour in the remaining soy milk while vigorously mixing to avoid lumps. Stir for 5 minutes until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the mustard and season with a little salt and lots of pepper. Pour over the pasta and stir well to combine everything.
4. Put the breadcrumbs, lemon zest and parsley into a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crunchy. Serve immediately.
Fig & Cherry was commissioned by Vitasoy Australia to develop this sponsored recipe featuring their range of non-dairy milks. For more great soy recipes (including plenty more by Christie!) visit www.soy.com.au.
If you are a brand or PR who would like to commission a sponsored recipe, please get in touch via the Advertising page.
Looking for more vegan recipes? Check these out: