I am calling this week's recipe a broccoli casserole, but it's actually a vegan version of a strata.
A strata is similar to a quiche or frittata made from a mixture which mainly consists of bread and eggs. I was worried this broccoli casserole wouldn't be creamy enough without real eggs, but I was wrong.
This broccoli casserole would make an enjoyable family dinner, and I would serve it with a big salad. I choose to use an Italian bread but you can use whole wheat or gluten-free bread.
The original recipe calls for the bread cubes to be soaked in the egg/milk mixture overnight in the refrigerator. I didn't do that, and it seemed fine to me, but the overnight soak may make it a little more custardy.
I know this recipe takes a little more time than most of my recipes, but I think it's worth it. Especially if you're planning a special brunch for Easter or Mother's Day.
I also the love health benefits of this casserole. Broccoli and all cruciferous vegetables are your first food line of defense against many chronic diseases.
Broccoli is also full of fiber. Fiber adds bulk to your diet without adding calories and helps to reduce the calorie density of your diet which is one of the most important strategies for weight loss.
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Wishing you a peaceful and compassionate week!
Creamy Broccoli Casserole with Mushrooms,
Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Italian Bread & Vegan Eggs
- 3½ cups broccoli cut into bite size pieces
- ⅓ cup vegetable broth for sautéing
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 cups thick-sliced mushrooms
- ¼ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 3½ cups of Italian bread cubes, crusts removed
- 6 vegan eggs (I used 6 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill egg replacer whisked with 1¼ cups of water and it worked brilliantly)
- 2 tablespoons potato or corn starch
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1½ teaspoons of dried thyme (or 1½ tablespoons of fresh)
- 1½ teaspoons of dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Lay the cut broccoli on a lined baking sheet. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. The broccoli becomes brown on edges by not cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Lower oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat the vegetable broth in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they are soft and translucent 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Put in a bowl and set aside.
- Add a little more vegetable broth to the sauce pan if needed. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they release all of their water about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
- Grease a rectangular casserole dish (approximately 9 inches by 5½).
- Arrange the bread cubes in the bottom of the dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the 6 vegan eggs, almond milk, nutritional yeast, potato starch, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Pour over the bread. **Note: You could do this ahead of time. Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
- Add the mushrooms, onion-garlic mixture, broccoli (hold back ½ cup of broccoli for top of casserole) and sun-dried tomatoes to the bread and milk mixture. Stir to incorporate. Top with remaining ½ cup broccoli.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the top forma a light brown crust.