Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an 8-cup ovenproof casserole dish.
Make topping: Combine garlic and sunflower seeds in the bowl of a small food processor. Process for 30 seconds, or until chopped together. Add bread, and with the motor running, add enough oil through opening in the lid to make a dry, crumbly mixture. Set aside.
Make vegetable bake: Combine mixed vegetables, potatoes, and onion in a large saucepan. Cover with water and add salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 8 minutes, or until vegetables are almost tender (the tip of a knife should meet with some resistance when vegetables are pierced). Drain, reserving cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, combine milk and cashews in the jug of a blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes, or until nuts are completely puréed and cream is smooth. Scrape into a large bowl. Add cooked vegetables and mix well. Spoon into prepared casserole dish. Spread topping evenly over top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until topping is browned and vegetable mixture is bubbling. Grind salt and pepper over the top.
You’ve Got Options
The topping is really easy to make and it adds crunch, but to save time, you could use 1½ cups seasoned croutons or ½ cup vegan parmesan cheese instead.
For the mixed vegetables, fresh is best but frozen will work. If using frozen vegetables, reduce the cooking time in step 3.
Try to include 2 cups each of vegetables of the following colors:
Green: broccoli florets, coarsely chopped Swiss chard or kale or spinach or bok choy, lima beans or green peas, or 1-inch cut green beans, asparagus, or zucchini
Red/orange/white: 1-inch diced carrots, corn kernels, cauliflower florets, 1-inch diced parsnips or rutabaga
Makes 4 to 6 Servings, Easily Halved
4 cups mixed vegetables (see options)
2 medium potatoes, cut into cubes (see options)
1 medium onion, quartered
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unflavored, unsweetened nondairy milk
⅓ cup cashews
Sea salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup shelled raw sunflower seeds
2 slices bread, cubed
About ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
From “The Reducetarian Cookbook: 125 Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for Omnivores, Vegans, and Everyone In-Between” by Reducetarian Foundation (Center Street, $21.99). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.