|A layered casserole with curried brown rice, broccoli, a creamy curry sauce, and just enough low-fat cheese!|
Now that I have officially been given the title of Casserole Queen, it seemed fun to challenge myself with creating more meatless casseroles. This Vegetarian Curried Brown Rice and Broccoli Casserole with Creamy Curry Sauce is an idea that just popped into my head one day, although it's definitely a riff on the Better-than-Mom's Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa Casserole with Creamy Curry Sauce that I made nearly two years ago. Once I had the idea in mind, it actually took Jake and I three tries to get this one just right (although we happily gobbled up the first two tries as well.)
If you're looking for a new dinner idea for Meatless Monday, I think most family members will like this one, as long as they like broccoli. I kept the curry flavor mild with the idea that kids could enjoy this, but if you like spicy curries you can increase the heat, or even use all hot curry powder. I did use light sour cream, partly light mayo, and low-fat cheese to keep this relatively low in fat, although for South Beach Dieters this should maybe be a "once-in-a-while treat." (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch. For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web or visit my Meatless Monday Pinterest board.)
We increased the amount of broccoli each time we tested the recipe, and the final version calls for 8 cups of small broccoli flowerets. (Love this huge glass measuring cup I got from my late stepmother, Norma.)
Cook the broccoli in boiling salted water for exactly two minutes, and then drain it into a colander placed in the sink.
While the broccoli cooks, saute the onion in a little olive oil until it starts to brown; then add the sweet and hot curry powder and cook 2-3 minutes more.
Mix in the cooked brown rice and stir to get the curry flavor distributed and cook long enough to heat the rice.
Bake at 375F/190C for about 30 minutes, or until casserole is slightly bubbling and lightly browned on top.
(Makes 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Better-than-Mom's Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa Casserole with Creamy Curry Sauce.)
4 cups cooked brown rice (I use Uncle Ben's Brown Rice)
8 cups fresh broccoli, cut into small flowerets (about 20 oz. broccoli)
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 tsp. olive
1 tsp. sweet curry powder (any curry powder that's not labeled hot will probably work for this)
1/2 tsp hot curry powder (sometimes called Madras curry powder; you can skip this if cooking for kids or increase for a spicier dish)
1/2 tsp. sea salt salt
1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional, but good)
1 1/2 cups grated low-fat mozzarella
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup light mayo
(or use all regular or all light mayo)
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice (I used my frozen lemon juice)
1 1/2 tsp. sweet curry powder
Cook brown rice according to package directions or using a rice cooker to get 4 cups cooked brown rice.
When rice is nearly done, cut broccoli into small flowerets to get 8 cups broccoli. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add about 1 tsp. salt, and cook the broccoli exactly 2 minutes. Drain broccoli into a colander placed in the sink. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the onion, and saute over medium-high heat until onion is starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the sweet and hot curry powder and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add the cooked rice and stir to coat with the oil and curry powder, then cook a couple of minutes to to heat the rice (if needed.)
Spray an 8" x 8" glass casserole dish with non-stick spray. (I used my new favorite casserole dish; if you don't have a dish that's this deep, use a slightly larger one.) Make layers with half the rice mixture, half the broccoli, half the curry sauce, and half the cheese, spreading out to make an even layer with each ingredient. Make a second layer each of rice mixture, broccoli, curry sauce, and cheese.
Bake the casserole about 30 minutes, or until casserole is starting to bubble and the cheese is lightly browned on top. Serve hot. I am guessing this freezes well, although I haven't tried freezing it yet.
South Beach Suggestions:
Using brown rice, a generous amount of broccoli, and reduced fat sour cream, mayo, and cheese help make this recipe suitable for Phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. However, sour cream is a pretty limited food for South Beach, so if you're actively trying to lose weight for Phase 2, you might consider this to be a "once in a while-treat."
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Meatless Ideas with Brown Rice:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Baked Chickpea and Brown Rice Patties from Lisa's Kitchen
Spinach and Feta Casserole with Brown Rice and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Vegan Red Curry Tofu and Kale with Brown Rice from The Perfect Pantry
Greek Inspired Leftover Brown Rice Casserole with Red Pepper, Onions, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen
Scallion Curd Rice from Herbivoracious
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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