Toona Casserole

(Comments)

For months and months, I've heard my partner (who is very much vegan) talk about this weird craving he had for tuna. While this is a totally normal occurence when one has changed their diet and lifestyle from foods they've eaten their entire lives, there are several ways to deal with it. One is to just ignore until it leaves which is does eventually, or make a substitute using whole foods like my chickpea tuno salad. The last is to discover products from compassionate business like Sophie's Kitchen who make alternatives that are cruelty free and vegan.

So this is how this came into our lives, it's not easy to find in Canada, but thanks to a new online business based here called Vegan Supply (who will be officially open soon) we got our hands on 2 cans at Veg Expo 2015. Once I opened it, I was a bit sceptical. As you can see in the picture, it's dark brown and sort of looks like cat food. The smell was somewhat fishy, in a good way. 

So I rolled up my sleeves and make a healthy version of one of my pre-vegan favorites: Toona Casserole.

The recipe uses coconut milk instead of the canned mushroom soup and mayonnaise that you would usually find in this dish. It's thickened with a bit of flour to really make it creamy and rich without overloading on the fat. I love it! The Toona did bring a little flavor of the sea without overwhelming everything. This dish is obviously not exactly the same, but it's great dish in it's own right. 

Since my partner had a seond helping, the results speak for themselves. While he says it wasn't exactly what he rememebers either, it was satisfying. I don't think I would eat the Toona by itself, it requires a dish or something to meld with, for me anyways. Have you tried it? What did you think?

Toona Casserole

A classic casserole gone vegan! (and healthy). Using coconut milk, mushrooms and Sophie's Kitchen Toona, this casserole packs a nutritional and taste bud punch.

Portions
4

Difficulty
Medium

Prep Time
5 Minutes

Cooking Time
35 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package brown rice pasta
  • 1 medium onion - diced finely
  • 1.5 cup mushrooms - chopped well
  • 1 medium zucchini - shredded
  • 1 can coconut milk - or soy/rice for a low fat version
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can Toona - or chickpeas and 1 tsp dulse
  • 2 cup peas - thawed
  • S/P - to taste
  • 1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs - (opt)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast - (opt)

Directions:

  • Boil the pasta to Al dente.
  • While that's going on, in a deep pan, water saute the onion for 4 minutes, then add the garlic. After about a minute, toss in the mushrooms and shredded zucchini. Cook for about 7 minutes, then add the coconut milk, flour and water. Whisk well and season to taste. The sauce will thicken up quickly so make sure to keep stirring. Turn off the heat and toss in the peas and Toona. Make sure to drain it well so that the dish doesn't end up oily.
  • Toss the pasta and sauce together and put into a casserole dish. Optionally top with breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast. Bake at 350F until the tip get a bit crunchy, about 20 minutes. Let cool before serving.
  • Enjoy!