Friday, May 26, 2006


Best Blog Tips

Last night we had an unexpected guest and I had to use up some items in my refrigerator, especially a whole bunch of broccoli that needed to be used. I was in the mood for down-home rather than exotic, and I had some homemade "cheddar" cheese that was a bit runnier than it should have been, a cup of tofu sour creme left over from tacos the night before, and some Soy Curls already reconstituted in the freezer. So what better than "Chicken" Divan casserole? Never heard of this? Probably because you're too young! It's out of fashion now. Here's a description from

"Chicken Divan - A chicken casserole dish with broccoli and mornay or hollandaise sauce.

1950s - Chicken Divan was the signature dish of a 1950s New York restaurant, the Divan Parisienne. In English, the word "divan" came to mean sofa, from the council chamber's benches. In France it meant a meeting place or great hall. It was this meaning that attracted the notice of the owners of the New York restaurant as they searched for a name that would imply continental elegance."

Now it seems very plain and homey to us, but that's kind of what I wanted. Current recipes call for cream of mushroom, broccoli or cheddar soup from a can for the sauce, but I used my vegan bechamel sauce mixed with the Tofu Sour creme instead (and here is a Bean-Based Vegan Bechamel Sauce). Most recipes also call for frozen broccoli, but I used fresh steamed. I also added lots of garlic to the Soy Curl "chicken" strips.

Three of us ate 1/2 the large casserole (of course, one of us --not me!-- was pregnant and very hungry!). It's a little on the bland side, but that's kind of  comforting sometimes. My husband liked it very much.

I also made a cookie sheet full of grilled asparagus and sliced portobella mushrooms with balsamic vinaigrette-- yum!

Printable Recipe

Serves 8

2 lbs. fresh broccoli crowns, cut into spears and steamed crisp-tender
2 cups grated vegan "cheddar"(or, if you use a soft homemade version you can just dab it on) OR any vegan cheese with some vegan parmesan substitute
3-4 cups strips of any vegan "chicken" or "turkey" substitute, such as Soy Curls reconstituted in a vegan "chickeny" broth
2 T. vegan butter
6 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups or so of cooked rice (I use brown basmati)
2 cups vegan white sauce or Bechamel sauce (I made it without added fat-- just blended in the flour), or this bean-based version
1 cup Tofu Sour Creme (commercial or homemade)
1 T. lemon juice
2 cups bread crumbs (I used some herb-flavored ones I had in the freezer)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Saute the "chicken" sub in a large pan with the Earth balance and chopped garlic.

Spread the steamed broccoli in the bottom of 1/ 9 x 13" baking pan. Cover that with the "chicken" sub. Sprinkle with salt and grind pepper over that to taste. 

Spread 1 cup of the vegan "cheese" over the top (save the other half for the top of the finished casserole). Spread the cooked rice over that.

Mix the bechamel sauce with the sour creme and lemon juice, stirring well. Drizzle this evenly over the casserole and smooth it out. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs and then spread, sprinkle or dot with the remaining "cheese".

Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot.

(Nutrition Facts were calculated using Soy Curls; brown rice;  Daiya Vegan Cheese; my homemade Bechamel Sauce without the fat added; my homemade Tofu Sour Creme .)
 Nutrition Facts Nutrition (per serving): 302.1 calories; 37% calories from fat; 12.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 599.3mg sodium; 463.2mg potassium; 34.8g carbohydrates; 3.5g fiber; 2.4g sugar; 31.3g net carbs; 14.1g protein.

Have a great weekend!


KleoPatra said...

Bryanna, that's such a great-looking dish!!! I want to check more into the Soy Curls, thank you for the link.

Anonymous said...

Bryanna, you make your divan very similarly to the way I make mine. I always used fresh steamed or blanched (just barely, I only cook it to crisp tender stage) broccoli, and for my bechamel, I add a little white wine, or if I'm out of white wine, I'll use just a teaspoon or two of dijon mustard to give it that little bit of richness....YUMMM!!!! We eat divan a lot during the winter months.....comfort food at it's finest :)

Amy O'Neill Houck said...

OK--I'm making this tonight--like Lori--my mom always used white wine and dijon in the mix, so I may try that as well.


Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Those would be excellent additions, Amy and Lori-- I'll try it next time. I often add dry sherry to bechamel, as well, which would probably be good, too.

Anonymous said...

Your blogspot is - as everything else you do - such a nice and inspiring place to go. I'm one of those 'too young' to have heard of the divan dish but it's not gonna stop me from trying it. It looks yummy! And the seitan pepper steaks looks just right for the BBQ season! I just made a batch of your quick soy'n seitan cutlets today - a favourite - we'll have plain fried cutlets with steamed potatoes and asparagus tonight, tomorrow I'll make your Vietnamese rolls with bbq'ed cutlets! Yum!
It's good to see that your spirit is back again, keep up the good work! All the best, Søren

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Søren! Good to hear from you!