Gnocchi "Cheesy" Casserole

Truth be told I had never tasted gnocchi before attempting the recipe! I had seen it in the store before but I never gave much thought to cooking with it. Valentina, my best friend, blogging mother and featured hand model, and I were perusing through the grocery (Yes. We go to the grocery store for fun) when we came across some gnocchi. Valentina, being the best friend that she is, picked up a pack and began inspecting it for non-vegan ingredients. To our surprise it didn't have any! She convinced me to buy some saying it would go perfecting with the vegan cheesy sauce I use for my Mac & Cheese and Enchiladas. Well naturally I couldn't refuse a challenge or a hungry stomach, so this gorgeous casserole was born! I absolutely loved the texture that the gnocchi brought to this dish. It transported you to a warm and cozy fireplace in Italy. This certainly is the perfect dish for cuddling up with on a cold winter's night and better yet it is SO easy to whip up! I added mushrooms and spinach to this casserole, but you can add in whatever veggies you fancy.

2 packages of gnocchi (17.5 ounces each) - be sure to check the ingredients and find a gnocchi variety that doesn't use eggs or milk
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups of diced mushrooms
4 handfuls of spinach
1/4 vegetable oil
3/4 cup flour
2 3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbs salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Bring a pot of water to boil with a dash of salt
3. Once water is boiling pour in all of your gnocchi and cook until the gnocchi floats to the top of the pot. Spoon the gnocchi out once is floats to the top, place in a medium bowl and set aside
4. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat then stir in mushrooms and cook for 6 minutes
5. Add spinach to the pan and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside
6. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat whisk together flour and vegetable oil until a thick roux is formed
7. Whisk in almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder and pepper into the roux
8. Raise heat to medium high and continue to whisk the sauce every minute or so for about 7 minutes or until thickened to the consistency of velveeta then set aside
9. drizzle some olive oil in a small casserole pan (4x7 ish)
10. Spread about 1/4 cup of the sauce on the bottom
11. create another layer with the gnocchi covering the cheesy sauce layer
12. Spoon some of the mushrooms and spinach on top of the gnocchi to create a third layer. Be sure to save some of the vegetables for other layers
13. Repeat steps 10-12 until you have filled the casserole pan
14. Bake casserole for 15-20 minutes


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