This year that I worked full time I cooked differently than I have in the past. Gone were the elaborate 10 step recipes and in swooped easy throw-in-the-oven casseroles, slow cooker meals and low effort roasting pans (and quite a few frozen pizzas). This recipe for a cheesy rice and broccoli casserole is not one that I would have normally picked when perusing a cookbook, but it totally fit the bill when it came to dinner time.
It's also not a typical recipe you'd find in a "low-fat, healthy eating" cookbook. I know some may scoff at the use of cream of mushroom soup and a prepackaged flavored rice, but for a busy family it's nice to have a recipe that utilizes these ingredients in a healthiER way. Most recipes I found online for this same casserole utilized butter, more rice and less veggies, and more than triple the amount of full-fat cheese.
This was a good, comforting, creamy side dish alongside some simply roasted chicken.
Recipe from The Looneyspoons Collection
1 pkg (6.3 oz/180 g) Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice original recipe (I couldn't find this product, so I used 1 cup of Uncle Ben's Natural Select Roasted Chicken & Wild Rice)
2 10oz. cans of reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup light old cheddar (sharp), shredded
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, cut small
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, cut small
Prepare rice according to package directions, omitting butter. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together soup, cheese and Dijon mustard. Mix well. Spray a medium casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer half the soup mixture over bottom, top with half the broccoli and cauliflower, followed by half the rice. Repeat layers. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
As I said before, this dish was comforting, creamy and easy to throw together. It becomes a really no-fuss meal when you roast some spiced chicken thighs alongside the casserole...you've got a complete meal with no extra work. This was also a great potluck contribution, and I brought home a completely empty casserole dish.
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