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Vegan Christmas Casserole and an Awesome Gift

Another wonderful family Christmas!  We didn’t travel anywhere this year, but we’ve had a fantastic day Skyping with family, opening gifts and playing with presents, and cooking delicious food.  Per usual, we didn’t go with any kind of “traditional” holiday fare, but instead relied on a yummy, healthy, and filling dish that is at least holiday-colored with its green zucchini and red peppers!  I’ll also share with you what my favorite gift was this year (at least the kind that goes under the tree) below the recipe.

I’ve already blogged this vegetable polenta casserole recipe here, but just so you don’t have to look it up, here it is again!

 

Vegan Christmas Casserole
 
Veggie Polenta Casserole
Author:
Recipe type: Casserole
Ingredients
  • 2-3 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 cups zucchini, sliced (about 3 medium)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ⅔ cup (or more as desired) jarred or homemade pasta sauce
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (plus more to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the polenta--bring 3 cups water to boil, then add 1 cup cornmeal combined with 1 cup cold water and stir (or follow the instructions on your particular brand's container).
  3. Pour cooked polenta in a greased 9"x13" pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  4. While the polenta is baking, sauté the zucchini, peppers and onion over high heat for 5 minutes. Then cover and simmer 5 more minutes.
  5. Add soy sauce and cook on low (covered) for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add all remaining ingredients (except cornmeal, of course). Stir and cover again. Cook until veggies are soft.
  7. Remove polenta from oven, put the veggies on top, sprinkle with nutritional yeast, and bake again for 35 minutes.

 

A Great Gift

If you are ever in need of a great gift idea for a foodie, consider spices!  My sister hit a home run by 1) gifting me spices and 2) gifting me spices for my favorite type of cuisine–Indian!

These are Penzeys Spices.  This “Curry” set includes Garam Masala, Curry Powder, Balti Seasoning, and Tandoori Seasoning.  I use Garam Masala frequently in recipes, but if it is new to you, you can simply sprinkle it over sliced sweet potatoes and bake for Indian-Spiced Yam Fries.  Curry powder, as well, is used often in my kitchen.  Here’s a simple and delicious recipe for you to try that is very mild and shouldn’t scare anyone away from the spice:  Spinach and Chickpea Coconut Curry.  The Balti and Tandoori Seasonings, while not new in taste to me, are new in my kitchen, and I look forward to trying them out.

 

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