My mom always had a few recipes that she'd make all the time when I was growing up. There was Cheesy Beef Casserole, which is pretty self-explanatory. Cheese. Buddig Beef. Potatoes. Toast. And then there was Chicken a la King, the only way I'd ever eat peas (even if I'd pick the chicken out). But one of the recipes that always stands out in my memories is her recipe for Shipwreck Casserole.
Shipwreck, my mom told me, was named such because it was all that people had to eat after their ships wrecked. Naturally, anytime my mom would make it, I'd imagine Pilgrims on a tropical island, cans of Campbell's soup and baked beans in hand, preparing to make a casserole over a camp fire. I had an active imagination, you see. (I also had two imaginary friends named Joy and Field—Joy after the dish soap and Field after Marshall Fields. Incidentally, Field looked exactly like Joyce DeWitt from Three's Company.)
Anyway! When I did a vegetarian casserole challenge with Valerie from Eclecticisms, I challenged her to make a vegetarian shipwreck casserole. It sounded so good and brought back so many warm and fuzzy memories that I just had to try to make it myself. The credit for this recipe goes to Valerie (with a few slight adjustments from yours truly), and you can read about her experience making it here.
I know this recipe sounds a little bit bizarre, but trust me, it's really good. (You do trust me, right?) My husband, not a fan of baked beans, was really skeptical, but I converted him.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions until softened and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Add tempeh and cook until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spray a 9 x 11 baking dish with cooking spray or oil and layer potatoes on the bottom, overlapping. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover potatoes with tempeh mixture. Top tempeh layer with baked beans and top baked beans with tomato soup.
- Bake uncovered for about 1 hour or until browned.