Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mollie Katzen's Spinach-Rice Casserole

As today was the first get-back-on-track food day I have two delicious recipes to share!

Spinach-Rice Casserole
Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

We gave this recipe a solid 'A' in our cookbook notes. It's easy to make and a delicious, wintery, comfort-food. We made this recipe with cheddar and milk from our co-op, but you could make this a vegan recipe if you chose to (although it's really lovely with the cheese). While you can use short, medium, or long-grain brown rice, you will save yourself calories by avoiding short grain brown rice. The broccoli slaw can be found by the salad mixes in the produce section. Our mix was a "rainbow mix," with a little bit of shredded carrots and cabbage in addition to the broccoli. Yum!

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 Tbsp. butter (or olive oil/margarine if you're going vegan with this)
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded broccoli slaw mix / diced broccoli stems and florets
2 bunches fresh spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
2 tsp. salt
5 garlic cloves, minced
dash of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3 eggs, beaten (omit for vegan)
1 cup milk (omit for vegan)
1 - 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (omit for vegan)

Cook the rice per the manufacturer's instructions. When the rice is finished, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

While the rice is cooking, heat the oven to 350F. Heat the butter in a dutch oven or deep skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion for 5-7 minutes until it start to brown and soften. Add the broccoli and a few teaspoons of water. Continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli turns bright green and starts to soften as well. Add the spinach, garlic, and salt. Continue to cook over medium heat, about 5 minutes or until the spinach wilts and cooks down. Remove from heat and mix in the cooked rice, nutmeg, cayenne, and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (not full 1/2 cup!).

Beat the eggs and milk together until well combined. Pour the milk-mixture over the vegetables and rice and stir, adding the cheese until everything is well combined.

Spread into a 9x13 inch baking pan (you will probably need to grease if you aren't adding any dairy products). Use a scraper to press the mixture down evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds on the top of the casserole.

Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes until the casserole is heated through and is beginning to brown on top. Remove and let rest for about 5 minutes, then serve!