14 August 2018

Maggie's Savory Vegan Kugel

A few years ago, I was so excited to have successfully made a vegan version of Shana's Mommom's sweet kugel. Here's the problem: as delicious as it is, Shana kept saying that she didn't want to eat it for dinner because of its sweetness. But the comforting casserole texture kept coming to mind, until I finally decided I wanted to attempt a savory version.

Keeping the basic idea (tofu & noodles in a casserole), I played around with flavors and veggies until I found something amazing. The thin strips of veggies provide some subtle textural contrast, but it's the blend of spices - most notably the roasted garlic - that provide warmth and depth to this version of kugel. Hearty, savory, and comforting all at once, this kugel is a clear winner.

Having this tonight, before the whirlwind of our semesters starts in earnest, was just the comfort we both needed.

Maggie's Savory Vegan Kugel
8 oz. (by weight) flat, ribbon-style pasta
1 med. onion, thinly sliced (about 1 c.)
1 small red pepper, thinly sliced (about 1/2 c.)
2 large carrots, shredded (about 1/2 - 3/4 c.)
1, 15 oz. container of extra firm water-packed tofu
1 c. vegan sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. roasted garlic powder
1/4 tsp. Old World seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Boil pasta until al dente according to package directions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, saute the onion and red pepper in a small amount of oil until soft.
3. Using a fork, a potato ricer, or your hand, break up the tofu into small chunks then add the vegan sour cream, stirring well.
4. Add the sauteed veggies, carrots, and all the spices to the tofu mixture, stirring well.
5. Drain the pasta (when it is done) and add the noodles to the tofu mixture, stirring well.
6. Pour mixture into a well-oiled glass baking dish (see Helpful Hints for size options), then bake for 30 minutes.
7. Let rest 5-10  minutes before cutting.

Helpful Hints
  • Have you heard of Penzeys spices? They are great!! I use two specific Penzeys spices in this dish, though you may be able to find roasted garlic powder elsewhere. The easiest replacement for Old World is Old Bay (found in nearly any grocery store). If you do end up using Old Bay and not Old World, I would cut down on salt (though Shana always adds salt at the table anyway). 
  • The 11 x 7 baking dish is my favorite size for this kugel, but I have successfully put the entire dish into an 8 x 8 dish as well - it is just VERY full. You could certainly put it in a larger 9 x 13 baking dish, but you might want to knock 5 minutes off the cooking time since it will be thinner in the pan. 
  • This recipe will freeze, but the texture of the tofu will change, affecting the overall texture of the dish. However, I do think this is something you could make a day or two ahead, put in the fridge, then pop in the oven the night you plan to eat it. You should add some time, maybe 5 minutes, to the cooking time to make up for the starting temp of the dish. 
The post "Maggie's Savory Vegan Kugel" first appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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