Creamy Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole
- 1 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soymilk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch or potato starch
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon sherry (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon tahini or cashew butter (optional)
- very generous grating black pepper
- 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 5 cups)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped celery, chopped
- 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas (or other options, see below)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups cooked brown rice (warm, if possible)
- 2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil or spray a medium casserole dish (about 2-1/2-quart size).
2.Place the sauce ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
3.Place the broccoli in a steamer basket set over water and steam, covered, until just barely tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
4.While the broccoli is steaming, heat a large, deep non-stick skillet or saute pan. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas, thyme, rice, and steamed broccoli. Make sure the sauce is well-blended, and add it to the skillet. Stir gently and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if necessary, and smooth into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with almonds, if desired. Bake until the top begins to brown, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.