So the question of the household at the witching hour is always “What’s for dinner??????” (insert whine-y voice) Some nights I hate that question because I know that they will hate my response. Other nights, I say bring it on! Tonight it was on. Especially because I answered: Rutabaga Casserole.
8 year old boy: “What the heck is a rutabaga?” (typical turned up nose) Which I expected. New recipe+Not pizza=Dirty look from kids.
BUT, the kids were asked forced to keep an open mind because that is one of my expectations.
The verdict? We loved it and thought it was fantastic.
Little background on Rutabaga: it is a root vegetable. Sort of a hybrid of cabbage and turnip. Less calories and carbs than potatoes (for those who still count) yet still a great source of vitamin C and fiber.
This recipe is adapted from qafma.net (Queen Anne Farmers Market)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (find this either at whole foods, health section of your grocer, or online)
3-4 rutabagas (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into about 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
4 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whole Wheat Panko breadcrumbs
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Prepare the cashew cream first. In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the cashews and let sit for between 20-30 minutes. Stir in the nutritional yeast.
*** If you are unfamiliar with nutritional yeast, get familiar! This is a nutrient dense, flaky, cheesey-flavored staple in my household. Because I am a vegetarian, this requires an extra effort to maintain Vitamin B-12 levels (normally found in meat and other animal based foods). Not only does nutritional yeast provide Vitamin B-12, it also has 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving. Needless to say, the stuff gets put on everything on our house!
Puree the mixture in a blender on the highest setting for about 3 minutes…
|cashew/water/nutritional yeast combo in the blender|
….until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
4)Peel and slice rutabagas.
5) Time to layer!
|sliced rutabaga, cashew cream sauce, and herb mix|
6) Cover the bottom of a mid-sized baking dish with a single layer of rutabaga slices, overlapping their edges and working in a circle. Sprinkle with herbs. Add another layer and season with herb mix. Pour in about one third of the cashew cream – enough to cover these two layers. Continue until the baking dish is full or you run out of rutabaga. Pour in the remaining cashew cream, almost to the rim of the baking dish.
5) Sprinkle with Panko bread crumbs until covered. Drizzle with a generous dose of olive oil.
|ready for baking|
Place in the oven. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until rutabagas are just cooked through and bread crumbs are toasty and brown. Serve immediately. Yum.
|final portion, sad to say…|