If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that we’re pretty much dairy-free EXCEPT for cheese. So this recipe is essentially dairy free until you add the cheese. This is a recipe that was born of my Mom’s potatoes augratin recipe, except I’ve eliminated glutens and most all dairy. And it’s what I call a ‘warm fuzzy’ dish. My husband loves this kind of thing.
While this isn’t my usual uber-healthy style of dish, it’s more healthy using coconut milk and olive oil instead of cow’s milk and butter. The good thing about this is that this recipe does indeed give you some fiber. I’m a huge fan of fiber! Most people don’t get nearly enough every day. Women should have 21 grams a day and men should have at least 32 grams a day. Without fiber, your digestive system (and colon) simply don’t work properly. Fiber also helps offset any damaging sugars that you might take in, and along with protein, gives you the energy to stay active all day.
This recipe uses my own version of a bechamel sauce, detailed below. You can use any type of potato you have on hand, but be aware your results might vary depending on the potato you choose. Today I used Russet potatoes simply because they were the only organic potatoes available here in the store today. They aren’t the most preferred for this type of recipe. Your potatoes will hold up better in the dish if you use red or white potatoes.
Some of the ingredients and instructions are approximations. I go by how things are moving along and by how the sauce looks as I’m building it, so some of this will be up to you as to how much you use when it comes to oil (or butter), corn starch and the coconut milk.
Also, I pealed my potatoes, but to be honest, they’d be far healthier if you leave the skin on after scrubbing, to give you yet even more fiber. PLUS for me, the less time with a knife in my hand, the better. I’m prone to cutting myself when cooking, and also to burning myself. Recently, I cut my hand, then when removing something from the oven, I burned the exact place where the cut was! No kidding!
So, here we go:
Almost Dairy-Free Potatoes Augratin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 4 or 5 medium to large size organic potatoes, pealed & cut in 1/4″ slices or thinner
- 1/2 cup organic onions, sliced
- 5 TBS (+/-) organic olive oil (or you can use butter if you wish)
- 5 TBS (+/-) organic corn starch
- 4 cups (or less) unsweetened organic coconut milk
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 5 cups grated organic sharp cheddar cheese.
Place the sliced potatoes and sliced onions in a pan. Fill pan about 3/4 full of water. Cook on medium heat approx 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and onions are transparent. Drain.
Place the potatoes and onions in an 8″ x 8″ baking dish. Add about 2 cups grated cheese and very gently stir into the hot potatoes to mix.
For the bechamel sauce, start with approx 5 TBS olive oil (or butter if you choose) in a sauce pan. Allow to heat but not bubble. Gradually stir in the corn starch until you have a thick roux. Cook a minute or two until all is well incorporated.
Add coconut milk slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, allowing the milk to incorporate with the oil / butter and corn starch mix. Continue to add until you have a good sauce consistency. You may not need this much coconut milk or you might need more. I play it by ear.
Add 1 cup grated cheese and stir into the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
When thickened, pour the sauce over the potatoes in the baking dish, and gently stir or ‘nudge’ it into the potatoes. Add the remaining cheese to the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or more. If you want it a bit dryer and more browned on top, you can certainly cook longer.