This time of year is always a marathon of eating. Holiday party after holiday party I find myself eating rich, delicious, carby food that I would never eat at any other time of the year. Now that the holidays are over I found myself craving something healthy and veggie packed. This is a casserole I whipped up using my husband’s favorite grain, barley, and a list of delicious veggies (including two leafy greens!).
This recipe is vegan (with vegan “cheese” sauce) but I added some ground beef to my husband’s side.
Vegan “Cheesy” Barley and Vegetable Casserole
1.5 cups of Pearl barley
3-4 big stalks of Swiss chard, chopped
1-2 cups of frozen spinach, thawed and sauteed
3/4 cup Marinara sauce
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
Cook the barley according to package directions. Set aside. In a large skillet heat EVOO, add chopped onion, saute for a few minutes then add garlic. Add corn then add chard and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. When green are tender and wilted add marinara sauce, stir well. In a large bowl add barley and marinara veggie mixture. Add cheese sauce, mix, and pour it all in a casserole dish. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.
Vegan “Cheese” Sauce
ala Oh She Glows (a great vegan website)
3/4 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
6 tbsp nutritional yeast (you can get this at Whole Foods)
1 tbsp Earth Balance or non-diary butter spread
1 tbsp all purpose flour (I used corn starch)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in sauce pan. Whisk in flour and milk. Add yeast, whisk well. Add mustard, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Add more milk if you want it thinner or more flour if you want a thicker sauce. This is also really, really good on shells for vegan shells and cheese!