Red Food for a Blue State

Last week I decided to go to my parents house to watch the debate and eat dinner. Although that would normally be nice enough, my Mom decided to improve matters considerably by cooking up a storm before I got there- and to make everything vegan!

Just because one cannot readily identify any blue food that's good for dinner does not mean there is none, however we coincidentally ate a politically incorrect fuschia and red feast: a Polish beet, mushroom and potato casserole for dinner and brownies with cherry sauce for dessert. Trust me , I know how odd the beet casserole looks. But it was SO good. Even my skeptical father enjoyed it. My Mom got the recipe from an old british vegetarian cookbook* and easily veganized the recipe.

Essentially it was mashed potatoes with a creamy gravy flavored with roasted beets, caraway seeds, mustard, shallots, and soy creamer, and topped with meaty portabello mushrooms. Though its definitely odd to eat pink gravy (it reminded me of that scene from "Hook" where they are all eating mounds of imaginary neon food) it tasted like pure comfort food. And the texture of the beets was a great foil to the crunchy shallots and meaty shrooms. YUUUM this recipe is a keeper. (Especially since beets are total nutritional superstars!)

Beet, Mushroom and Potato Casserole
-1 Onion, diced
-3 T flour
-1 1/4 c. veg stock
-1 1/2 lbs. cooked or roasted beets, peeled and chopped
-5 T soy creamer
-2 T Horseradish
-1 T nice brown spicy mustard
-1 T red wine vinegar
-1 tsp caraway seeds
-2 T earth balance
-1-2 chopped shallots
-8 oz mushrooms chopped (my Mom used portabellos, but you could use wild mushrooms or other varieties.)
-2 lbs potatoes (russet is good)
-1/2 C. soymilk
-s & p

1. Heat EVOO in a large saucepan and add in onion, cooking until translucent. Add the flour and take off burner, slowly adding in stock until blended. Return to the heat and simmer until thickened (about 5 minutes.) Now add in the beets, cream, horseradish, mustard, vinegar and caraway seeds.

2. Now make the mashed potatoes. Bring peeled potatoes to a boil in salted water, cooking until you can pierce with a fork. Drain and mash with soymilk, salt and pepper. Spoon the potatoes into a lightly greased casserole dish and make a little well in the middle- fill the well with the crazy-looking hot pink beet mixture.

3. Melt the butter over medium low in a frying pan and add chopped shallot, taking care not to burn it. When soft, add in mushrooms, cooking until juices run. Raise the heat to cook off the juices, season with salt and pepper. Spoon mushrooms over top of the beets.

4. Cook the casserole covered at 375 for about 30 minutes. Serve at once with a nice spinach salad or some green beans.

...Too bad the debate wasn't quite as compelling.

*Adapted from The Best Ever Vegetarian Cookbook by Linda Fraser


VeggieGirl said...

Such a comforting casserole dish!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Haha, I love the last line of this post.

That is awesome that your mom cooked up such a fantastic looking and sounding feast for the debate. I'll admit, pink gravy does seem a little weird, but the combination sounds wonderful.

VeganCowGirl said...

Yah for your mom! Super cool!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Aww, what an awesome mom you have, to cook an entire vegan meal! (And such a yummy-sounding one, to boot!)