Cooking is art while baking is science. So with that little mantra, I try to use the measurements in any recipe (other than a baking item) as a guide rather than the law. The amounts shown below are general outline that you fill in with a little of your own creative juices (but if you stick to these as is you won’t be sorry).
Even having said cooking is art, I will note that I rarely deviate from the guidelines on the first attempt of a new recipe. That way I know if it doesn’t work out that it likely wasn’t my fault.
This little tasty number is gluten free as well as dairy free and egg free. I guess it should be called Free Casserole. Plus, it takes only about 20 minutes to prepare and 20 more to bake.
1 cup walnut halves or pieces (brazil nuts would also work well)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped coarsely - and if you are genetically disinclined towards cilantro, swap it out for parsley
1.5 cups water
1.5 cups cashews
1.5 tsp. dijon mustard
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. green sriracha or 1 tsp red sriracha (I like the green one)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped (approximately 1 fat cup or 1 1/4C)
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 large or 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
1-2 tsp. salt
500g frozen veg (peas, mixed veg, asian blend….)****
1 quart jar home canned salmon, drained (about 2 cups meat)
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped a little smaller than the first time
5 cups (approximately) cooked gluten free pasta
Directions: 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set the rack in the middle of the oven. 2. Find a 9x13 pyrex casserole dish. Spray lightly with oil and line with parchment paper. 3. Put the water and the cashews into a food processor. Pulse a few times to make more surface area on the cashews and let them sit in the water while you prepare the onion and carrot. 4. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and when it sparkles and moves add the onion and carrot. Stir and add salt. Let them cook 5-6 minutes uncovered at a medium heat and stir occasionally. 5. While the veggies cook, blend up the nut/water mix till the nuts are not chunky. Add the fresh squeezed lemon juice, mustard and sriracha. 6. Add to the veggies after they have cooked along with the frozen veg. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the cilantro and the drained salmon into the mix and break the pieces up. Blend things well but don’t over-stir.
7. Place all the pasta into the pyrex, spread evenly over the bottom, then top with the salmon mixture. Stir gently to mix the pasta into the salmon - just a little bit. 8. Gently press everything flat and then top with the walnut/parsley mixture, evenly sprinkled all over the top of the casserole. 9. Bake 20 - 25 minutes. Serve hot. (Big confession: I love anything that I can put ketchup on. This is nice with ketcup but most folks don’t seem to need that. Thai sweet chili sauce is also a nice option.)
**** No reason not to use fresh peas if you have access to them. If using these, add to the onions 2 minutes before the onions and carrots have finished cooking and allow them to heat up that way. ***** Tastes even better the next day!