• I know, I know. Eat your dinner and then you can have dessert. How many times did we all hear that? But for this post, I’m breaking the rules. Sometimes ya’ just gotta live dangerously:).

    First the sweet. My eldest baby (yup, she’s still my baby) turned 27 last Friday. What better way to celebrate than with chocolate! She deserves only the best!

    Though a purist at heart, there is a time and place for pre-made baking mixes. Though her birthday was last Friday, we weren’t going to see her until Sunday. We were going out of town for the weekend and I didn’t want to make her birthday cake (or cupcakes in this case) on Friday, since my experience has been that gluten free baked goods are best eaten on the day they’re baked. Enter Sweetie Cakes Co. Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix and Chocolate Frosting Mix. As far as mixes go, it doesn’t get much better. Not only that, I brought home a couple of the leftover cupcakes and guess what? They were just as good today, a day after they were baked. They are definitely worth the cost. Yum is all I can say. And the smile on her face and the sparkle in her eyes was what every mama wants to see:).

    Now for the savory. I’ve been experimenting quite a lot with vegan recipes and am so happy with the results. I made Karina’s Gluten Free vegan mac and cheese which I blogged about here. That recipe has now become a staple in our house, and I’ve even converted non-believers, honest. I’m told it’s even a must on our Thanksgiving menu.

    Tonight, I tried another vegan take on a casserole filled with cheesey creamy goodness. Take a look at this:

    Curious? The credit totally goes to Susan whose recipes can be found at fatfreevegan.com. I wanted a hearty filling dinner to take away the autumn New England chill and I surely found the ticket. I made her Golden Potato and Tempeh Casserole. Stop the presses. This recipe is a sure-fire winner. It is SO easy to make and really doesn’t take much time either. When I whizzed the sauce ingredients in my blender, I will admit to being a little skeptical – blended together, it was pretty thin. I wasn’t sure it would thicken up, but alas, I was completely surprised and delighted. I mean, look at the picture – doesn’t it look like a mac and cheese sauce? By the time I removed it from the oven to sprinkle on the vegan parmesan cheese (recipe below), it was bubbly and oozing and cheezey, yet completely dairy-free. Bake for another 10 – 15 minutes, remove from oven, allow to sit on the stove while I finish assembling the salads, then sit down to a scrumptious oozing-with-creamy-cheezey goodness dinner. Thank you Susan!!! Please visit her blog for the original recipe. I’ve adapted it to be gluten free and have included my adaptation below. I used rice milk instead of soy, simply because it was what I had in the frig.

    Golden Potato and Tempeh Cassrole
    original recipe from fatfree vegan’s blog
    6 – 8 servings

    Tempeh Ingredients

    8 ounces soy tempeh (make certain the tempeh is GF)
    1 cup vegetable broth (I made my own, but feel free to use GF store bought)
    2 tbsp wheat-free tamari (San-J is my brand of choice)
    1 tsp liquid smoke
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/4 tsp smoked paprika

    Sauce Ingredients

    1 1/4 cups water
    1 cup plain, unsweetened rice milk
    3/4 cup nutritional yeast (Kal is my favorite brand)
    3 tbsp cornstarch
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tbsp stoneground mustard (I used a grainy mustard that I had in the frig)
    1/2 tsp paprika
    1 pinch cayenne
    2 tbsp tahini
    2 tsp miso (recipe calls for white miso, I used a brown rice miso)
    1 tsp dried tarragon, optional (recipe calls for fresh, I only had dried)

    1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes (I used Idaho potatoes)
    Black pepper, to taste
    1 tsp vegan parmesan (see recipe below for homemade version)

    Slice the tempeh about 1/4 inch thick. In a flat, microwaveable baking dish, arrange the tempeh slices in a single layer (mine overlapped a bit). Mix the remaining ingredients for the tempeh part of the recipe and pour over the temph.

    In the microwave, cook on high power for 3 minutes. If your microwave doesn’t have a turntable, turn or rearrange any pieces that weren’t covered by the broth. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Then cook at 50% power for 3 more minutes. Allow the tempeh to remain in the broth until you’re ready to assemble the casserole.

    Make the sauce by putting all the sauce ingredients except for the tarragon into a blender and blending until completely pureed. Stir in the tarragon just before using the sauce and blend to mix.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a 3 quart casserole or 2 smaller pans.

    Wash the potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 1/4″ slices.

    Put half of the potato slices in the bottom of the casserole dish. Lift the tempeh out of its marinade and arrange on top of the potatoes. Put the remaining potatoes over the tempeh. Stir the sauce and pour it over the potatoes. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and cover tightly.

    Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the cover, sprinkle with vegan parmesan, and bake for 10 – 15 more minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove from the oven and let stand a few minutes before serving.

    Vegan Parmesan

    1/2 cup almond flour (or use ground, blanched almonds)
    2 tbsp nutritional yeast (I use Kal)
    2 tsp miso (I used a brown rice miso)
    1/4 tsp salt

    Whiz in food processor.

    What did you have for dinner tonight?
    • Bunny Trails

      Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!! Blogs like yours help me with my new, healthy, gluten free lifestyle! These all look so very YUMMY!

    • Pete

      Good recipe. Thks for sharing.

    • SusanV

      I am so happy to see your version of this dish. Glad you liked it!

    • MC

      You know, I’ve never tried making a vegan sweet yet. I’ve been curious about making a vegan cake or cupcake but it always seems more difficult to me for some reason. I think it’s only because I’m not used to it. But I’m interested in trying the taste!

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