photo courtesy SweetPotatoSoul.com
I love to cook, but I don’t do it consistently—especially not when I’m busy. For as many times as I’ve whipped up a quick chili and cornbread dinner, I’ve also thrown a bag of animal crackers in my purse and called it a meal.
Thankfully, 2020 helped me largely get rid of that bad habit. But even though I’m not leaving my home nearly as often as I would in my normal life, I still don’t always feel like spending an hour in the kitchen after a day at the office. So when I read an intro promising a fast, healthy meal on the sweet potato and Brussels sprouts gratin recipe on the Sweet Potato Soul blog, I knew I’d found something that was going to work for me.
I prepared my veggie gratin a day early and then baked it and served it as a main course for dinner with fancy bread.
I’m going to save this recipe not only for busy weeks when I would like to have leftovers I can reheat quickly but also as an option for the holidays. It features two of my favorite seasonal veggies, plus it’s vegan, so it will work with most of the dietary restrictions the people I love and cook for have.
I was able to prep my gratin in less than 30 minutes, and, honestly, most of that time was spent chopping. (I did not use a food processor.) There are three main steps: cut up the veggies, make the sauce and make the topping.
Using oat milk in this recipe was a first for me. If you don’t like oat milk, or you can’t find it, a note in the comments on the recipe says any non-dairy milk will do. Just make sure it’s unsweetened.
The blog promised that the use of the oat milk would provide all the creaminess you’d expect if you were to use cheese, as you typically find in a gratin (no small task). As I was cooking, I kept having to resist my urge to throw in a handful of Parmesan, which is definitely not vegan and is definitely against the rules for this dish. Besides, I assume that’s what the nutritional yeast in the topping is supposed to mimic.
I was skeptical as I was making this recipe, and I still think calling the finished product a gratin is a stretch, in my opinion. I prefer to think of it as a veggie casserole that has a lovely nutty flavor and good crunch and is plenty filling as a meal.
1 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced (peeling optional)
1/2 cup unsweetened oat milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dark maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs or homemade bread crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place the sliced Brussels sprouts and sweet potato in a baking dish.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the oat milk, broth, mustard, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Stir well, then pour over the vegetables.
4. In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs, nuts, garlic, olive oil and salt. Stir well.
5. Pour the mixture over the veggies then spread evenly.
6. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating the baking dish halfway through.