Here’s one of my earliest comfort food favorites, a casserole-like dish of mashed potatoes and melted cheese, now veganized, from Vegetariana. With Daiya or Follow Your Heart vegan cheeses, it’s just as good as any dairy version.
- 5 to 6 medium potatoes, preferably russet
- 2 tablespoons vegan buttery spread (like Earth Balance), divided
- 2/3 cup rice milk
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs, or a mixture of wheat germ and bread crumbs
- 1 /2 cups grated vegan mozzarella-style cheese
- 1 large or 2 medium white or yellow onions, quartered and thinly sliced
- Fresh parsley for garnish, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a slow boil, then turn the heat down, cover, and simmer until tender, about 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the chunks you’ve cut.
Meanwhile, heat half of the vegan butter spread in a small skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden.
Drain any remaining liquid and transfer the potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining vegan butter and rice milk, and mash until the potatoes are smooth and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper.
Generously oil a 9-inch casserole dish (preferably round, though a square one will do). Line the bottom of the dish with the bread crumbs.
Pour in half of the mashed potatoes, smooth down, and top with the grated cheese and half of the onions. Set the rest of the onions aside until later. Cover with the remaining potatoes.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven, let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
Top with the remaining onions, then scoop out sections, going through all the layers, to serve.