Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meatless Monday: Vegetable and Chevre Casserole

Another successful Meatless Monday experiment. The kids liked it, and Claire was pleasantly surprised- as much as we love our veggies, few people jump up and down at the prospect of veggie casserole, right? It's also great reheated!

Vegetable and Chevre Casserole
I got the original recipe for this from, which is a great meal planning site.  I tweaked it a little by adding chevre instead of feta, and adding TVP to give the recipe a little more substance. TVP is textured vegetable protein. It is low cost, and you just add hot water for a few minutes to reconstitute it.  It has the texture of ground meat, but not the flavor. I add a little balsamic vinegar to it to give it a little more flavor, and mixed into dishes, it adds texture and protein. The recipe works just fine without it, also.

1 box whole wheat penne pasta
1 medium onion, diced
2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 zucchini, diced
4 tomatoes, diced
1 c green beans, diced
3/4 c packed basil leaves, chopped
2 c chopped spinach
1 c crumbled chevre cheese
1 c TVP (textured vegetable protein), reconstituted (optional)
1/4 c sunflower seeds
4 T balsamic vinegar
2 c vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper
1 c whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 c parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta as directed, drain and place in 9 x 13 inch pan. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add carrots (these take longer) and saute, adding a little vegetable stock of water if the pan gets dry. Next add zucchini and saute for a minute before adding green beans.   Add tomatoes, basil leaves, and 3 T balsamic vinegar. Let simmer for a few minutes. Add the rest of the vegetable stock or water and salt and pepper. Stir in basil leaves and spinach at the last minute, and then pour over the noodles. Stir so that all the noodles are covered. Add 1 T balsamic vinegar to the TVP, and mix into the casserole along with the sunflower seeds. Crumble in the chevre and mix carefully.  Mix the bread crumbs with the cheese and sprinkle over the top.  Bake for 20 minutes covered, then 10 minutes uncovered so that the bread crumb layer is golden brown.

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