Friday, February 1, 2013

Cheezy Green Goodness

If kale and cabbage got together and had a love child, salad savoy would be the end result.

I had my first (known) interaction with this deep purple, green and white-hued leafy vegetable a few weeks ago.

The deep purple and green bunch of salad savoy. Yum!

A food cooperative called Bountiful Baskets makes produce deliveries to West Yellowstone every other week and part of the fun is finding out what fruits and veggies will be in the baskets. Volunteers get together about an hour before it’s time for everyone to pick up their orders. We unload the boxes off the truck, make sure everything matches up and the end result is basically a “basket” full of half fruits/half vegetables. There are other add-ons like breads, granola, coconut oil and larger cases of produce that you can order, but I usually just stick with the conventional basket. For one person, it can seem like a large amount of produce, but being vegan, fresh produce is basically what fuels my food motor.

We got in several boxes of a mysterious lettuce/cabbage-looking vegetable that ended up being the salad savoy. They come in both white and purple bunches, each speckled with green, and a lady at the volunteer site told me that you can cook them up like kale chips. I ended up trading her my bag of potatoes for her bunch of salad savoy, meaning it was time to get creative in the kitchen. Two heads of salad savoy ARE better than one!

I washed, chopped and prepared the first bunch of salad savoy, the one with the white leaves, just like I like to cook kale. I roasted the leaves on a baking sheet with Brussels sprouts tossed in garlic-herb seasoning, salt, pepper, white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin coconut oil. I finally bought a jar of coconut oil the last time I did a big grocery run in Bozeman. I have to say it’s worth the price.

By the time I decided to use the beautiful bunch of purple and green salad savoy, I had been craving vegan mac and cheeze for days! I wanted to try something special with the salad savoy though.

Cheezy Three Green Bake
My Cheezy Three Green Bake was the hot, steamy, crunchy, cheezy end result. With this dish, think tuna noodle casserole meats mac and cheeze meets beans and greens.
It’s a mix of chopped salad savoy and Brussels sprouts, frozen green peas, crispy and crunchy breadcrumbs all held together by a generous portion of cheeze sauce, vegan style.
After searching for days for just the right cheeze sauce recipe to try (I have a recipe I have been using religiously for the past nine years.) I found the answer to my cheez-sauce searching mission on Oh She Glows. This blog is amazing. I have adapted a few of her recipes for granola and other tasty treats based on my own tastes and what I have on hand in the kitchen.

Well let me tell you, Angela’s Quick & Dirty 5-Ingredient Vegan Cheeze Sauce is simple and low-fat, not to mention amaze balls.

Here’s my adapted version of the cheeze sauce recipe.

This is a double recipe because the Cheezy Three Green Bake fills a large 9” X 13” glass baking dish.

Vegan Cheeze Sauce
(adapted from the Low-Fat Cheez Sauce recipe on Oh She Glows here:

    2 cups almond milk (more as needed to thin out the sauce)
    12 to 14 tbsp. nutritional yeast (Bob’s Red Mill makes one in natural food section of most grocery stores or bulk food stores)
    2 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil (I use Nutiva.)
    2 tbsp. all purpose flour (or other flour)
    4 tsp. Dijon mustard
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• sea salt and pepper, to taste

** 1 to 2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce (optional)
** garlic-herb seasoning, to taste (optional)
** smoked paprika, to taste (optional)
** Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (optional)
** mild chili powder (optional)

** I added in a couple dashes of Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce, mild chili powder and smoked paprika. I sprinkled more smoked paprika on top of the dish before it went into the oven too. I highly suggest adding in the smoked paprika. It helps get the bold flavor of the dish.

- Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan.
- Mix the flour and the almond milk in a dish or deep measuring cup. Mix until there are no lumps of flour remaining. Add the mixture to the melted oil in the saucepan and stir until mixed.
- Stir in the nutritional yeast until it is well incorporated and turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients and any additional ingredients, like Tabasco or soy sauce. Keep stirring the sauce until it thickens and gently starts to bubble. If the sauce becomes too thick, add in more almond milk a little at a time.

Vegan Cheeze Sauce ingredients

Start preparing the cheeze sauce while the vegetables are boiling! (See below)

Cheezy goodness...

Cheezy Three Green Bake
 • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
• 1 bunch salad savoy (or kale)
• 8 oz. package frozen green peas (or use half of a 16 oz. package like I did.)
• Vegan Cheeze Sauce recipe
• 1 ½ cups bread crumbs (I used some leftover herb seasoned cubed stuffing mix and ground the cubes up in the food processor for bread crumbs.)
• smoked paprika, to sprinkle on top of the breadcrumbs (optional)

- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- Bring a pot of water to boil.
- Wash the salad savoy and Brussels sprouts. Remove the thick stems from the salad savoy, like you would for kale. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half, or quarters if they are large.
- Once the water is boiling, add the salad savoy and sprouts to the pot and boil for a few minutes. Be sure not to overcook – it’s just to soften them up before putting them in the oven. Add the frozen green peas to the boiling water and cook for a few minutes, just until the peas are soft. Drain the veggies in a strainer.

- Spray a 9’’ X 13” glass baking dish, like a Pyrex dish, with nonstick cooking spray. Add the strained vegetables to the dish. Mix in about half of your cheeze sauce and pour the remaining sauce on top of the vegetable mixture. You may have some sauce left. Spread the breadcrumbs in an even layer on top of the cheeze sauce. Sprinkle some smoked paprika on top.
- Bake the dish in the oven at 350F degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. It will start to bubble a little bit.
Broiled to (almost) perfection
- Turn on your broiler and place the dish directly under the broiler. Broil until the breadcrumbs start to brown, about another three to five minutes.
Take the dish out of the oven and let it cool off for a few minutes. Plate it up and dig in to the bold cheezy green casserole-like goodness!

Dig in!

This will probably feed about four hungry people. It might only feed two really hungry people, or more if you make it as a side.

Dodger the Wonder Dog loves Brussels sprouts.


  1. Thanks for posting, Abbie! For the past 6 months, I am eating mostly vegetarian. I enjoy lots of vegan foods though, and I had more energy and a dishwasher would make many more vegan dishes. Will give this one a shot, I've experiment with a few 'cheez' sauces and so far, am liking what I taste.

    1. Thanks Molly! Are you doing it for training purposes? And, if you ever want any recipes, let me know!