Potato and Chard Casserole

Potato and Chard Casserole -- Epicurean VeganI suppose you could also call this a “gratin” or scalloped potatoes; basically the same thing. You can easily make this a gluten-free dish by using rice flour and using ground up gluten-free crackers instead of bread crumbs. This has a little bit of prep work, so enlisting some help wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you have a 13-year-old lying around, it’s a fine opportunity to teach him/her how to peel and slice potatoes. Speaking of potatoes . . . this is probably a good time to remind folks that these root veggies are on the “Dirty Dozen” list, in fact, all root vegetables (carrots, turnips, etc) are. Because conventionally grown potatoes are sprayed with pesticides up to 5 times throughout the growing season, it is highly encouraged you only eat organic potatoes. The pesticides also seep into the soil where these starchy (and absorbent) veggies grow—another good reason to stick to organic!

7 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 large bunch of chard, stem and veins removed, then chopped
6 green onion, sliced
3 Tbs vegetable broth
2 Tbs flour
1-1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
Dash or two of nutmeg
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1-1/2 C almond milk
3/4 C Daiya mozzarella shreds
2 slices of bread
2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

Preheat the oven to 350. Puree the two slices of bread and Earth Balance in the food processor; set aside. (This is a great way to use those heels of the loaf that no one seems to like). In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and green onion. Make sure the potato slices are well separated, otherwise they’ll take forever to bake.

Meanwhile, steam the chard for about 5-7 minutes. You don’t want it too soft–just a little tender. Mix it in with potatoes and green onion. 

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Whisk in the flour, seasoning, pepper, nutmeg, and dry mustard. Whisk in the almond milk and bring to a boil. Stir constantly until it begins to thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 C of the cheese.

Pour the sauce over the veggies and mix well. Transfer to a 9″x13″ baking pan.

Top with the remaining cheese and the bread crumbs you made from the bread slices.

Cover and bake for 40-45 minutes. Test the potatoes for doneness with a fork. Bake uncovered another 5 minutes.