Pasta and Vegetable Casserole

I love casseroles and I can’t get enough of ’em. I used to think I didn’t like them when I was a kid, but man, I was wrong. They’re a beautiful melange of flavors, all mixed together and adding to each other and creating a whole new experience. Ever since we started getting big boxes of delicious vegetables from Hungry Harvest*, we’ve had to find creativeways to use lots of veggies. It turns out a delicious vegetable casserole is a great place to pack a ton of healthy vegetables into a meal.

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Vegetable Casserole: Homey and Healthy

The great thing about casseroles is that you can get a ton of flavor from just a few simple ingredients. For the filling here, we mixed our vegetables and pasta with some vegetable stock, salt, and garlic, and that was it! Reducing the stock concentrated all that wonderful flavor, and then we topped the whole thing with a sunflower seed crumble that browned nicely in the oven. The ingredients are simple and healthy, but it tastes like one of the hearty casseroles my grandparents made when I was a kid.

We used some multicolored fall pasta that our son picked out for this casserole, and I think it made it look really beautiful! It’s a shame that it didn’t make him want to try any, but we expected that.

Pasta and Vegetable Casserole

Ingredients:

2 cups pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups vegetables (we used sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes)
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable stock
1 15-oz can cannellini beans
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Salt and garlic powder to taste (or go nuts and use Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel spice mix*)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cook pasta. Meanwhile, sautée vegetables and garlic until cooked through. Sprinkle flour on top, stir in stock and cook until thick. Add in beans and pasta and pop into an oven safe casserole dish. Mix sunflower seeds, coconut oil, and seasoning in food processor until a crumble forms, and sprinkle on top of the casserole. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes.

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Gluten-Free Pasta Salad with Olives, Cauliflower, and Chickpea Pasta

We like to be inclusive here at Our Chaotic Kitchen, and in that spirit we’d like to extend a recipe for gluten-free pasta salad to our gluten-free friends. Over the weekend we saw dried chickpea pasta* at the store, and we had to give it a shot! We also tried making some homemade chickpea pasta ourselves, if you’re feeling adventurous.

*The link above is an associate link at Amazon; if you click and buy something, Amazon will kick a percentage of your purchase back our way.

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad – Delicious and Nutritious

This gluten-free pasta salad is packed with flavor and is healthy as all get-out. We were able to make use of the cauliflower and tomatoes that we got from Hungry Harvest, and topping it off with a nice olive tapenade gave it just the right amount of pizzazz. You could almost call this a deconstructed takeoff on our cauliflower veggie flatbread, if the concept of “deconstructed” dishes were something other than a cruel lie to make diners finish making their own food. But I digress.

Vegan gluten free pasta salad

Ingredients:

Roasted Veggies:

1 pkg chickpea pasta or 1/2 batch of our chickpea flour pasta
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil

Olive Tapenade:

1 cup olives (green or kalamata, your choice)
1/2 cup nuts
Big handful of fresh herbs (we used parsley and basil)
1 clove of garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Toss vegetables in olive oil in a large bowl. Once coated, lay out on a lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile cook pasta and process tapenade in food processor. Toss hot veggies with pasta and tapenade.

Tofu and Chickpea Flour Pasta

We love pasta, but since going mostly vegan and mostly gluten free, it’s been an indulgence that we rarely enjoy, since it’s not quite as healthy as we’d like. One day we wondered if there was a way to make good pasta that was healthy and both vegan and gluten free. We wound up adapting a recipe from Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook, and it came out well! The flavor was great, and the texture was only a little bit more crumbly than run of the mill pasta. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 oz firm tofu (the recipe called for silken, but all we had was regular and it worked fine)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 Tsp salt

3 cups chickpea flour, plus more for dusting

Directions:

Place all ingredients, and 3 Tbsp room temperature water, in a food processor and combine. The mixture will become loose and crumbly, and then it will quickly form a sticky ball. Process for a minute or two. If the ball is overly sticky, break it up and add extra flour, 1 Tbsp at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. If it is too dry, add a small amount of water, 1 Tsp or so, at a time and process. Once the ball is formed with the right consistency, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. You can refrigerate it this way for up to a day, or freeze it for up to a month.

When ready, take the dough out and process it using a pasta machine of your choice. We used our KitchenAid Pasta Extruder to make spaghetti out of half of the dough, and we froze the other half. Once the pasta is made, cook quickly and briefly in salted boiling water, about 3-4 minutes, and serve. We served ours with kale pesto (watch for that recipe tomorrow!) green beans, and spiralized zucchini noodles. Enjoy!