Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vegan Week: Creamy Chipotle Orzo Casserole

This recipe is U-G-L-Y. It's the epitome as to why casserole is a dirty, 4-letter word. You know those recipes (and they are usually comfort foods) that look gawd-awwwful but taste delicious? This is one of them. I made this Wednesday, but I have to report on Tuesday, first.
                                                    Yup, it's ugly, but it tastes great.

Vegan week is posing a challenge regarding work. My office was considerate enough to accommodate veggie options for me, but 

Tuesday I ate:
  • English muffin with spinach-artichoke dip*
  • baby carrots. Lots of baby carrots
  • Green salad
  • macaroni & cheese**
  • mashed potatoes**
  • candied nuts**
  • veggie burrito
  • winter minestrone
  • To drink: water, seltzer, coffee, coke, Shiner Bock 
*Recipe to be posted
**Exempt item

So this recipe is simply inspired by the contents in my fridge, primarily things that need to be used up, primarily 2 pitiful peppers, some silken tofu, french-fried onions, and some cooked orzo. As a result, measurements are very imprecise, I had to guesstimate a lot.

Creamy Chipotle Orzo Casserole (serves 4-6)
  • 2 1/2 C orzo, cooked
  • 2 bell peppers, different colors, cut into thin strips
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 C french-fried onions
  • 12 oz soy sour cream
  • 2/3 C silken tofu
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste 
  • 1/3 C french-fried onions 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium casserole dish, combine the orzo, bell peppers, green onions, and french-fried onions and mix well. 
2. In a food processor, combine the soy sour cream, tofu, chipotles, lime juice, and salt and pepper until smooth. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed. 
3. Pour the sour cream mixture over the orzo and combine. Pop in the oven, covered, and bake for 30 mins. Uncover, and the additional onions, and bake 5 more minutes. Serve immediately. 
                                                                Taste is blind?

Kitchen Notes: This tastes like it actually has dairy in it--it's that creamy. Some of this is due to the fact that orzo has a fairly creamy texture. I would not substitute the orzo with an alternative pasta shape.

Verdict? For something that originated solely out of the contents of my fridge, I was super happy with the outcome. It has a genuinely creamy flavor, without the aftertaste often associated with soy. I enjoy it as an alternative to Spanish rice. Next time, I'll add a bit of cumin to the dish.

    1 comment:

    1. tehe awesome! Love your comment on casseroles- they never look beautiful!