Collapsing into her favorite chair, Evie reran the day’s horror show in her mind. Mitch was now her boss. She really didn’t see it coming. How could she? They’d only had one real date and then he never texted.

Having skipped lunch due to the stress of dropping her half-chewed donut into her hot pockets in front of her new boss, his boss, and all the Bettys, she was now starving. If she expected to develop a smart game plan for dealing with The Mituation, she would need food. And wine. Lots of wine.

She poured her current fave, Hahn Syrah, and began pulling together ingredients to make her favorite comfort food, potato gratin, with kale of course. The gooey potatoes would help ease the day’s stun and kale always helped her think.

Mesmerized by her own stirring of the béchamel, she barely heard the door buzzer. She wasn’t expecting anyone and she really wasn’t in the mood. Even if it were Kim. The last thing she wanted after the kick in the stomach at this morning’s meeting was getting ribbed in the side.

The door buzzed again. They weren’t going away.

“Only trolls live here, beware yee who want entry,” she growled into the mic.

“It’s me, Mitch. We have to talk,” came the reply from the tiny butch voice in the speaker.

Au Gratin Potatoes, Leeks, and Kale

  • 1 pat of margarine, enough to coat the baking pan
  • 4-5 Yukon or gold potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 cups sliced leeks, washed and drained
  • 4 cups chopped kale, washed and dried
  • 2 cups béchamel sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella or your favorite crumbly topping like vegan parma
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Coat the baking pan with the pat of margarine.
  3. Line the bottom of the pan with sliced potatoes, overlapping by 1/3 so they fan out evenly. This makes the gratin easier to serve after baking.
  4. Spread the sliced leeks as the next layer. Top with the chopped kale.
  5. Spoon the béchamel over the top, smearing it on the kale as you go.
  6. Cover with foil and bake at 400F for 45 minutes. Uncover and add your topping. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until topping is melted or browned (depends on your preferred topping).

NOTE: You could add a cup of vegan cheese to the béchamel before pouring on the gratin if you want an extra cheesy sauce.

Béchamel

  • 2 T. margarine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 cups almond milk, heated in the microwave
  • 1 cube veggie bouillon or Not Chick’n broth dissolved in the milk
  1. Heating the milk separately helps the bouillon dissolve. Do this and set aside.
  2. Sweat the garlic in the margarine over medium heat.
  3. Add the flour and stir to create a light golden roux.
  4. Slowly stir or whisk the almond milk/bouillon mixture into the roux, working on those lumps as you go.
  5. Continue stirring over medium heat until béchamel starts to thicken. Then it’s ready to pour on the gratin.

NOTE: Remember, the darker the roux, the less it will thicken your sauce later. That’s what you trade for a smokey, dark roux.