Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole | Avocados & Glitter

My quest to find or create vegan recipes that Husband likes, and could potentially take to work for weekday lunches in lieu of conventional frozen meals continues. The last recipe I shared, Southwestern Spaghetti, was intended to be a casserole, but it was delicious without the final baking step I initially envisioned. For whatever inexplicable reason, I had casserole on the brain though, so in order to satisfy this admittedly peculiar desire, I turned to the familiar favorites of broccoli, rice and cheese.

I scoped out several different recipes, and then developed my own version. The final verdict is that we both liked it. It ended up being very cheesy, more than I expected, but I love cheese, so I was pleased. Husband was less enthusiastic about the extra cheesiness, but he’s never been a fan of too much cheese, regardless of the dish. His feedback was essentially that he liked it, but it was too cheesy to be a main dish. He has been eating it as a side dish for the last couple of days. I’m happy with it as a main dish though, and have been eating it as such.

Vegan Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole
Vegan Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole

Vegan Broccoli Rice Cheese Casserole

Casserole
2 tablespoons evoo
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced or crushed
1 green pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
2 broccoli bunches, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 ounces sundried tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
3 cups cooked brown rice
1/2-1 cup breadcrumbs

Cheese Sauce
1 stick Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup flour
2 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon tamari
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups Daiya cheddar shreds

1. Saute onion, garlic and green pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened.
2. Add celery, zucchini, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Saute on low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. Make cheese sauce while vegetables are cooking.
3. Melt margarine in separate saucepan. Whisk in flour. Add milk, tamari, black pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk to combine.
4. Add Daiya shreds to milk, and stir until thoroughly combined on medium heat. Mixture should be smooth, so increase heat if shreds aren’t melting into sauce.
5. Add rice to vegetables, stir to combine.
5. Add cheese sauce to vegetables and rice. Stir to combine.
6. Pour vegetable-rice-cheese mixture into large 3-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
7. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Casserole should be bubbly, and breadcrumbs lightly toasted.

Sauteed Veggies
Sauteed Veggies
Vegan Cheese Sauce
Vegan Cheese Sauce

Pepper Corn Rice & Bean Soup | Avocados & Glitter

I make a lot of soup once the weather cools. Soup is warming, easy to make, and almost impossible to screw up. Typically, I toss whatever is on hand in the soup pot, without using a recipe, or sometimes, loosely following a recipe. Last week, I had looked at a slow-cooker recipe for pepper and corn soup that sounded interesting, so I bought a pile of bell peppers with the intention of following a recipe. The thing is, I didn’t get around to preparing the soup until it was way too late to use the slow-cooker. Also, the recipe called for blending to make a pureed soup, and Husband is not a fan of pureed soup. So when I started putting my soup together, I never gave the recipe that inspired me a second look. It’s a good thing I went off the rails with this though because I have to say, this is one of the best soups I can remember making. I’m really glad I noted the ingredients as I cooked too, because normally, I don’t. Thankfully, I have it posted here now, so I know where to find it, and can easily recreate it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Notes:
The ingredient list is long, but most of it includes pantry staples. The only effort is chopping the veggies. Everything else is easy measuring, and emptying cans, a carton and a bag.
This soup is mildly spicy. If you don’t care for spice, you can adjust the seasoning, or maybe eliminate the diced chilies.

Ingredients

1 T evoo
1 T garlic, minced
1 med-large onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery with tops, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
5 small red bell peppers, chopped
1 t black pepper
1/2 t ground red pepper
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1 t oregano
1/2 t salt
1 32-oz carton vegetable broth
4 c water
1 can diced green chilis
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 16-oz bag frozen corn
1 can beans of choice, drained & rinsed
1 c brown rice
1 c nondairy milk
1/2 c nooch

Optional mix-and-match toppings:
Tortilla chips
Avocado
Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
Salsa
Daiya shreds

Directions
Saute fresh veggies and garlic in evoo on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown. Add all other ingredients, stirring to mix. Simmer until rice is cooked.

Pepper Corn Rice & Bean Soup
Pepper Corn Rice & Bean Soup