Monday, 13 August 2012

Desperate Scalloped Potatoes: Milk and Butter-Free!

I was really feeling uninspired in the cooking department all day today. So much so, that I ate very little because I couldn't come up with anything that sounded appetizing; it didn't help that I need to grocery shop pretty badly, so pickings were slim anyway.

Then dinner time rolled around, the kids were hungry and I thought about picking something up for dinner. Must. Resist. The. Urge. So I did what any desperate mom would do and asked my toddler: "What do YOU want for dinner?". Potatoes. He wants potatoes. Oh, hey, I have those. What I don't have is anything to eat them with, at least in a traditional sense. So, the title of this post may have made you thought that I'm a health nut and/or looking to avoid dairy, but I really just have a lack of fridge essentials. No milk or butter, even. Sigh.

But I do have almond milk (unsweetened), cream, and olive oil. That should work, right? Right?!
Again, as all desperate mothers know, anything thrown together in a baking pan gives you prime opportunity to sneak in nutritious accessories. Like beans. "Holy hell, she's putting beans in her scalloped potatoes!", you may be thinking. Yes. Yes, I am. Put on your helmet, folks ...

Desperate Scalloped Potatoes

6 or so potatoes, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced (or half a red onion, in my case)
2 cups cheese of choice, shredded
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. thyme

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil, flour, salt, pepper, thyme and cook, stirring for one minute. While whisking constantly, add in the almond milk and cream. let it boil and thicken (this should take a few minutes), then set aside.

Grease a glass pan with olive oil (9 x 13" should work well) and layer one-third of your potatoes on the bottom. Drop and handful of beans on top and layer half the onions on top of that, followed by some sauce and cheese. Repeat layers until ingredients are gone.

Cover and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F. Remove foil and bake another 30 minutes until cheese is browned. Let stand for a few minutes so the sauce can firm up a little. Enjoy with chives, sour cream and some more pepper, to taste.

(*This recipe is a loose adaptation of a more traditional version of scalloped potatoes over at Canadian Living.)

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