Welcome to guest blogger Ilene R –

Okay.  So I’m not quite vegan since I still consume dairy products, nor vegetarian since I eat fish.  I am a pescatarian.  Problem is that when you have company not everyone likes fish.  So my dilemma for a recent book club luncheon was what to make that wouldn’t include tofu or fish, two of my regular staples.  Since most everyone likes some form of comfort food, I figured that a potato type casserole might work.  I decided on a potato, leek and asparagus casserole.  Here’s the recipe though the measurements are guesstimated since anyone who knows me knows I don’t measure (which is why I’m not a very good baker!):

 

Ingredients:

Celery stalks, thinly sliced, maybe 3 or use more if you really, really like celery.
Leeks, thinly sliced (only white and light green part) and cut into 1/2 moons.  Again, depending on how much you like onions, start with 3.
About 1- 1/2 packages of cream cheese, but if you want to watch the calories you can use neufchatel cheese Leave it out for a while so that it’s soft.
About 3/4 cup veg broth (you have to judge if if’s enough when you throw it into the pot, so start with this small amount.
Ffrozen artichokes (I got mine at Trader Joe’s of course!). 2 bags should do it.  Make sure water is squeezed out and coarsely chopped
A little salt and a lot of ground pepper (that’s my taste, reverse if you’re a salt addict!)
A little over a bag of TJ’s little potatoes — the one that are different colors–thinly sliced.
Some chopped garlic cloves (2-3)
Olive oil

Cooking Part 1 – the Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 425. In large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high flame.
Saute chopped garlic
Add leeks and celery, cook until softened (maybe 5-8 minutes)
Add artichokes, broth and cheese. Salt and Pepper too.
When everything is all blended together, remove skillet from heat.

Cooking Part 2 – the Casserole

I used a glass baking dish and sprayed it with TJ Olive Oil spray, but you can brush the dish with oil too.
Arrange 1/2 potato slices (overlapping) on the bottom.
Spoon artichoke mixture on top
Add another layer of potatoes. Brush top with oil
Put in oven and bake until sauce is bubbling and potatoes are golden (I let mine get a little crispy).

Figure 35-45 minutes.

 

 

The Finished Masterpiece

Bon Appetit