This hearty casserole calls for garbanzo beans instead of tuna, and mushrooms instead of the traditional can of salt-heavy Cream of Mushroom Soup. No-nut option as well.
2½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
½ cup raw, unsalted cashews (2 ounces)
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ cups uncooked elbow or small-shell pasta
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 2½ cups)
8 medium cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
2 cups green peas (frozen and thawed, or canned and drained)
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 2 15-oz. cans, drained)
1. Place all sauce ingredients into a blender and set aside (so the cashews can soften).
2. Cook the pasta in a pot according to the instructions on the package; drain and place the pasta back into the pot off of the heat.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Add the onions and mushrooms to a skillet on high heat, stirring and cooking for 3 to 5 minutes until softened and lightly browned, adding a little water only as needed to prevent sticking. Add this and the peas to the pot of cooked pasta.
4. Place the garbanzo beans into a food processor and pulse just until the beans are broken down (but not mushy). Add to the pot.
5. Blend the sauce ingredients until smooth. Add to the pot and stir.
6. Spoon into a 9 by 13-inch unoiled baking dish. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes (stovetop), 30 minutes (oven)
Notes: For a lower-fat, nut-free casserole, substitute 1½ cups cooked cannellini beans (or 1 15-oz. can, drained) for the cashews. / To add a light seafood flavor, try adding 3 or 4 teaspoons kelp granules or kelp powder to the sauce. / If you don’t have a food processor, mash the beans with a bean or potato masher.
Cathy Fisher has become a featured recipe expert for the NHA and is the creator of StraightUpFood.com, a blog that offers recipes and information on how to eat a health promoting, plant-based (vegan) diet. Cathy’s education and experience are grounded in her work with the McDougall Program (2006-present) and True North Health Center (2010-present), where she regularly teaches cooking classes to in-patient clients. Cathy graduated with her BA in Psychology, going on the earn a credential in Early Childhood Education and a certification in Nutrition Education. Cathy enjoys presenting to groups and giving people the practical skills they need to successfully shift to a healthier diet.