Monday, June 17, 2013

Fresh Foodie's Kitchen: Clean Broccoli Rice Casserole

Been noticing a real need for me to add more vegetables to my diet, and I had a bag of frozen broccoli in the freezer, so I decided to try my hand at a clean Broccoli Rice Casserole.  It came out pretty good and a few of you asked for the recipe.  I didn't follow a recipe, so I can't give you precise measurements, but I can do my best to recap "What I Used" and "What I Did".

What I Used:
- 1 bag of steamable brown rice from Trader Joe's (3 bags come in a box in the freezer section.)
- 1 bag of frozen broccoli from Trader Joe's
- approx 1 cup of shredded cheese (Use more if you want.  That's all I had.)
- approx 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk
- approx 2 TBSP almond meal
- Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute
- Salt and Pepper (adobo, whatever seasonings you like)
- Olive Oil

What I Did:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Microwave Brown Rice in steam bag for 3 minutes
- Place frozen broccoli in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, seasonings and a little water.
- Cover and Microwave for 6 minutes, stirring halfway.
- Heat Almond milk in a small pot (do not allow to boil!)
- Chop cooked broccoli into bite sized pieces and make a layer in the bottom of a casserole pan.
- Make a second layer using the brown rice.
- Check almond milk.  If it's hot (but not boiling), add almond meal and stir until dissolved.
- Add salt, pepper and seasonings to almond milk. Stir well and remove from heat.
- Add 3/4 of the cheese to the hot almond milk mixture. Stir until dissolved.
- Pour cheese sauce evenly over the broccoli and rice.
- Top with remaining cheese and bake for about 40 minutes or until cheese is brown and dish is no longer soupy.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Add an extra layer or two under the cheeses: lentils, sauteed mushrooms, whatever your heart desires.  I would have, if I'd have had any in my pantry.

Prep Time: 15 min
Bake Time: approx 40 min
Makes about 6 hearty servings.

If you try it out, let me know what you think! I'm open to suggestions!

1 serving (as side dish) , approx 1/6 of pan 

Keep it Fresh!
The Fresh Foodie