When I was a kid my Mother used to make a simple potato casserole that I loved. When she made it for my then-to-be husband about 15 years ago he loved it too. It is a pretty typical "Campbell's Soup Can" type recipe but it was really delicious. Since I no longer use condensed cream soups to cook I have not had this dish in a very long time.
Last week my grocery store, as part of their weekly "freebie" promotions, gave away a five pound bag of white potatoes and that got me thinking about this casserole and a way to keep it's integrity but make it vegan. This involved the creation of a condensed "cream of" soup substitute. My substitute worked really well and I am going to hang onto the recipe to use in lots of other "back of the soup can" type of recipes.
Though not exactly like the original Mr. Meat and Potatoes not only ate it, he told me to leave the leftovers in the refrigerator instead of freezing them for another day. This certainly means he liked it! I know I did, and I hope you do too.
Potato Mushroom Casserole
2 pounds of white potatoes peeled and shredded (you can use frozen shredded potatoes)
1/2 cup onion chopped fine
1 8 oz package Daiya cheddar crumbles
1 pint vegan sour cream such as Tofutti
1 1/2 cup bread crumb
2 tbsp Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish
For the Cream of Mushroom Soup Substitute:
3 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used unsweetened So Delicious Coconut)
16 oz mushrooms chopped (I used shitake and crimini)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the condensed cream of mushroom soup substitute substitute by heating 2 tbsp of the Earth Balance in a saute pan. Slowly add the flour stirring until it forms a paste. Remove from heat. Add the broth and non dairy milk stirring until smooth. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Return to heat and allow mixture to come to a soft boil, stirring constantly. Once the consistency of condensed cream of mushroom soup set aside.
Place bread crumb and 2 tbsp of the Earth balance into a food processor and blend until incorporated.
Put shredded potato, soup substitute, onion, Daiya cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking oil and layer the mixture in the pan. Top with the breadcrumb mixture and bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour. Sprinkle with a small amount of paprika prior to serving.
I had a little extra mixture so I decided to put them into the single serving crocks pictured above.