Adapted from this recipe in Women's Day.
Ah, comfort food. There's a reason casseroles are delivered after a funeral: food can be a total mood booster. (Or downer, like the time one of my babysitting charges snuck gummi bears into my fajita to "see if I would notice". Yeah. I noticed.)
While one of my favorite familes at school is bouncing back from a string of illnesses and surgeries, I offered up one of my delish vegan concoctions to speed up their recovery. (Ok, maybe that's a little much. But they said they liked it, so that's what counts.)
2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil, separated
1.5 lbs Italian-style soy sausage (I found mine in the veggie section of Food Lion), sliced into half moons
3 leeks, also sliced into half moons
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2 in pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans white beans, such as navy or cannellini, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper
2 cups fresh coarse bread crumbs (All the store bought ones I found contained high fructose corn syrup and trans fats, so I toasted my own and chopped 'em up.)
1. Heat oven to 375.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a large pot. Add soy sausage, leeks, carrots, and garlic, stirring often, until the carrots begin to soften. (5-6 minutes.)
3. Add the wine (pour a glass for yourself, too) and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice; bring to a boil. Stir in beans, parsley, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper. Transfer to a 3 qt. casserole dish.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs with remaining 2 tbsps of oil and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread crumbs are golden brown.
Ta-da! Seriously, how easy is that? And it will totally seem like you slaved away in the kitchen for hours, when really you had your feet up and were watching Real Housewives marathons. (Though people probably assume I'm doing that anyways...)
Serve with: Easy Drop Biscuits