I think I have just invented legal crack! I am a little late to the “riced” vegetable party, as I like my fried rice with, well, rice. But, this casserole has made me a believer.
My Vegan Riced Broccoli-Cauliflower Casserole has it all:
- The entire casserole is vibrantly healthy and only 535 calories. That means you could eat the whole thing and still be under the typical number of calories for an entire meal. Of course, you might have buzzard breath and a little abdominal gas, but that’s a small price to pay, no?
- It goes together, stove top, in about 20 minutes plus 15 minutes of optional oven baking.
- It is an ideal side for a host of main dishes, but you could also stuff an enchilada, spread it on toasted bread for crostini or on pizza, include it as a layer in lasagna, or serve it as a dip, just for starters.
Note: I purchased the broccoli and cauliflower already riced at Whole Foods, but you can make your own simply by pulsing chunks of both vegetables in a food processor until very finely minced.
1 tablespoons olive oil (125 calories)
4 green onions (both the white and green part), thinly sliced (20 calories)
2 large cloves garlic, minced (10 calories)
Pinch of sea salt and freshly grated black pepper
16 ounces (approximately 4 cups) riced broccoli-cauliflower combination (125 calories)
1 cup vegetable broth or stock (20 calories)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or a scant 1 teaspoon fresh, minced
2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese, e.g. Tofutti brand (60 calories)
4 + 1 tablespoon vegan shredded Parmesan; e.g. Follow Your Heart brand (125 calories)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but I like the flavor and health benefits; they don’t call it “nutritional” for nothing) (50 calories)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I love nutmeg in creamy savory dishes, but only the fresh)
Optional (but recommended): Zest of one-half medium lemon
(Note that my new Samsung gas range cooks with a lot of power. What I used to cook at medium-high, I now cook at medium-low or low. Seriously. So, adjust accordingly. I am going to recommend “medium” as a, well, happy medium.)
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add green onions and garlic, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and pepper, and saute, stirring, just until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add riced vegetables and saute, stirring, for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and thyme. Stir well to combine and simmer for 10 minutes or until moisture is released into cooking liquid and then almost entirely evaporated. Stir in cream cheese, 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, optional nutritional yeast, and nutmeg, and heat until melted. Stir in optional lemon zest. At this point, you can either sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan and serve, or transfer mixture to a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray, sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan, and bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.