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Unplugged with a Broccoli Bake

December 17, 2012

As my friends know, I occasionally like to unplug from technology to slowdown life and reflect. We have recently gone through one of those phases, and life is a bit more enjoyable. Taking a break from Facebook, email, and TV really helps me recenter. We have refocused on working on house projects and making sure Serafina is having fun playing and learning. We still don’t have many toys for her, a conscious choice, and she manages to show me everyday that everything in the house can be a wonderfully creative play object. My favorite is her love of rearranging furniture with her stuffed animal friends to play airplane, train, school….. since she barricaded our front door here, I think she is playing non-violent protest here.

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This recipe reminds me of a meal out of the 80’s, but with a healthy twist. It is a wonderful family meal and great for potlucks. Plus, I made this on a week night (with Serafina playing at my feet). Frantically trying to work on grading and report cards last week, I googled the only ingredients we had in the house “Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice.” Of course, the first recipe that came up was this gorgeously fatty Broccoli Bake with loads of cream, butter, and cream of mushroom soup. Since this was not a real possibility, I decided to alter the approach. By using creamy jasmine rice, extra veggie broth, and butter substitute, I hoped to maintain taste with a healthier twist. Notice, I separate the cheese and the broth, which allows for a more even spread of moisture. We also switched to a non-dairy, oil based butter substitute that allows for lower cholesterol. This is still not a vegan meal, but since we moved to a two meals vegan and one meal lacto-ovo diet, we have greatly reduced our dairy intake. I have also learned that many vegan substitutes are something that one can enjoy permanently. We had this for dinner, and it was even better as a lunch the next day.

We loved, loved, loved this simple dish and encourage you to enjoy!

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Broccoli Bake

  • Canola Oil Spray
  • 2 cups of cooked jasmine rice
  • 1 can of cannelini beans
  • 2 cups of chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of non-fat or soy milk
  • 1 cup of veggie broth, divided
  • 2-3 cups of cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 tb of  “butter,” or non-dairy substitute

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a baking dish.

2. Add in the cooked jasmine rice. Mix in the beans, broccoli, milk, 1/2 cup of veggie broth, and 1 cup of cheese. Stir together, trying to balance the ingredients throughout.

3. Sprinkle more cheese on top, sprinkle breadcrumbs, and top with butter. Drizzle with the remaining broth.

4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 24, 2012 11:29 am

    We’re getting ready to move in the middle of January, and as I gradually pack away the lesser-loved, rarely-played-with toys, I notice that Mo doesn’t miss them at all.

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