Important: Buy from your supermarket, fresh whole broccoli which still have their stalks attached. Packaged broccoli will not have the stalks attached and you will need these for this recipe. If you prefer to make an asparagus casserole, buy whole fresh asparagus.
Carefully cut the branching stalks from the florets and separate them. Place the florets onto the bottom of a casserole dish and the stalks into a blending device. If using asparagus, cut off the last 2 cm of the very hard base of each stalk and discard. then cut off the bottom 1/3 of each asparagus stalk and place into a blending device
Buy enough broccoli (or asparagus) so that you have about 3 cups of broccoli florets (or 3 cups of asparagus) in the casserole dish and 1 cup of the stalks in the blender. If using asparagus, save the softer top 2/3 of each asparagus stalk for the casserole dish
3 cups broccoli florets 93 calories OR substitute 3 cups of asparagus = 81 calories
1 stalk celery 6 calories
1 medium carrot 25 calories
2 medium onions 88 calories
1/4 cup vegan cheddar
cheese such as Daiya 90 calories
1 cup organic unsweetened almond milk 30 calories
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth 20 calories
1 cup broccoli stalks 31 calories OR 1 cup asparagus bases = 27 calories
1 TBSP potato starch 30 calories
1/2 tsp paprika 3 calories
1/2 tsp garlic garlic powder 5 calories
1/4 tsp ginger powder 2 calories
Add 1/2 tsp salt to taste (but note that the cheese and vegetable broth both contain sodium).
TOTAL CALORIES: 423 for broccoli casserole and 407 for asparagus casserole.
Into a blending device, put the almond milk and vegetable broth. Chop the broccoli stalks (or asparagus stalks) into pieces that your blender can handle. Place these into your blending device with the potato starch and spices. Blend until completely liquefied.
Sauté the 2 onions and celery (chopped) and sliced carrot in water in a frying pan until soft. If you are brave, let the water cook away for a few seconds so that the onions brown (caramelize) lightly. Repeat this process if you want more browning.
Preheat oven on bake to 350 degrees F.
Into the casserole dish, place the broccoli florets (or asparagus) which you should first cut up into bite size pieces. Spread these evenly on bottom of dish. Spread evenly on the broccoli (or asparagus) the sautéed onion, celery and carrot.
Pour onto this the liquid from the blender.
Spread evenly onto the top of this shredded vegan cheddar cheese.
Cover with foil to prevent spillage.
Place casserole dish onto bottom shelf of oven and bake for about 90 minutes (1 1/2 hours for those of you in Australia because of time difference).
The added liquid should be nice and creamy thick when done.
Makes about 6 one cup servings, each only 70 calories (68 calories for asparagus casserole) containing no fat but there is 1 1/2 grams of vegetable oil. For you dieters, that means plenty of leeway for a second helping making 140 calories (136 for asparagus). For dessert try one cup of watermelon (46 calories) and your total meal consumption will be only 186 calories (182 for asparagus).