Yay! I got some Daiya. I’ve topped pizza, grilled “cheese” sandwiches, eaten it straight from the bag, and each time I have been thoroughly satisfied. But, I wanted to test out its ‘casserole’ abilities -to see if the “cheese” could be crispy and melty at the same time. It has been quite a while since anything remotely close to cheese graced the top of one of my casseroles. It worked great! The Daiya was crispy on top, and the “cheese” directly underneath was ooey and gooey. I am sold, this Daiya stuff rocks!
For those of you who can not, or choose not, to incorporate Daiya into your life, this casserole is very yummy without it. A little bit of nooch would be awesome sprinkled on top. But like I said, I had to try it on a casserole. And, I suggest if you get your hands on Daiya anytime soon, you should too. This dish is perfect to make if you have some leftover mashed potatoes… but if not, whip up half a batch and treat yourself to something different. I’ll give you a basic run-down of how to make mashed potatoes below, if you aren’t quite sure.
I also happened to have corn and peas in my freezer, so that is what this recipe calls for, but some yummy sautéed mushrooms, or any other veggie you can think of would go great mixed in too. Ya know, it’s a casserole– anything goes.
Wash, peel (optional) and cut potatoes into pieces that are about 1 inch across each direction. The size of the pieces of a small potato (3″ long) cubed would be a good guide. Try and get them to be all the same size to ensure even cooking. Bring large pot, filled halfway with water, to a boil. Once water is at full rolling boil, (carefully!) add potatoes. Let water come back to a full boil and cook about 12-15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. You should be able to pull one piece of potato out of the water, place on a plate, and smash it easily with a fork. Keep your eye on them. Overcooking is easy, and under-cooking is repairable. Just keep checking them… the cooking time is approximate.
Drain well, transfer to mixing bowl and add 2 tsp of margarine. Mash by hand or use electric mixer. Salt to taste. Set aside.
Place chopped carrots and garlic in small pan along with about 1 1/4 cups of water. Over medium heat cook until all water has been absorbed and carrots are soft. Lightly salt, if desired. Mash by hand using a potato masher or the bottom of a flat glass. Set aside.
Peel cippolini onions and slice lengthwise in half, so that they remain circles, rather than cutting them into half circles.
Sauté in about 1 tsp of margarine or oil until translucent. This should only take a few minutes. Take onions off burner and let cool slightly.
Make sure corn and peas are at room temperature, if using frozen.
Now, take mashed potatoes, mashed carrots, corn and peas and combine together in large bowl. Transfer mashed veggies into a casserole or glass baking pan, un-greased. Spread out so that the mixture is evenly distributed.
Preheat oven to “broil”.
Separate each individual cippolini onion piece and arrange on top of the veggie mash.
(If the “mash” feels cold, place in oven on 350 degrees for about ten minutes to warm back up before adding Daiya).
Sprinkle Daiya cheese on top, the more the merrier, and broil -on top rack in oven–for about 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Be thankful that someone finally figured out how to make a decent vegan “cheese”…. Serve hot.