Every once in a while we can't, for the life of us, decide whether we want a soup or something more "entree"-like. In that event, the best bet is almost always a casserole--something most of us learn to a despise from a young age, but which can actually be awesome. This has broccoli, for supra health powers, white beans, for supra protein powers, and rice, for supra cheapness powers. For how easy this was to make, it was unbelievably delicious.
Broccoli & Rice Bake-em-up
- 2 cups white rice
- 4 cups veggie stock
- 1 - 2 stalks of broccoli, chopped into small florets and/or medium-sized pieces
- 1 cup cooked white beans
- 2 cups unsweetened faux milk
- 1 cup ground cashews
- 1.5 large white onions, finely diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, diced or pressed
- 1/2 one-pound block of soft (but not silken) tofu
- salt and pepper, to taste
- saltine crackers (optional, but almost excessively awesome--leave out for gluten-free)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Fahrenheit and start the rice cooking in the veggie stock. In a medium-sized frying pan, sautee about 2/3 of the onion and all of the garlic over medium heat, until soft. In a blender, puree the beans, faux milk, ground cashews, and tofu. When the onions and garlic are soft, add them to the puree, blend until smooth, then salt and pepper to taste.
Steam the broccoli until it's tender, but not at all mushy--you're going to bake this, so it better to err on the side of underdone. This will only take 5 - 10 minutes and should be done around the same time as--if not a little before--the rice. Once the rice is done, stir the rice, broccoli, the rest of the raw onion (this is the key to the recipe's tastiness!) and puree together in a 13x9 baking pan or casserole dish.
NOTE: we didn't end up using all of the puree, but you'll find it's awkward to have just over a cup of white beans left, and just over half a block of tofu. The moral of the story is: add the puree in stages; just enough to get everything coated really well. Alternatively, you could add another 1/2 cup of rice to make a larger casserole. The power is yours.
Finally, drizzle safflower and/or olive oil on top and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. If you've opted to add the cracker topping--an excellent choice, dear reader--then you'll want to crumble enough crackers over the top of the casserole to cover it thoroughly then drizzle more oil on top of that. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. If you've decided to forgo the cracker topping, you can just bake it for 40 minutes straight.
We had this with a delicious salad, bread, and Tom/John Collinses.