Monday, January 7, 2013

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Broccoli is one of those vegetables that while very good for you can also be a bit boring. There's steamed broccoli, it's often tossed in pastas with heavy alfredo sauces, or in homey cream-of-whatever soup casseroles. The casseroles can be tasty, but fat and sodium bombs. I set out to create a lighter version of a broccoli casserole that had less rice and binders than other versions out there. I believe I definitely succeeded on taste!

  • .5 cup cooked white long grain rice
  • 1.5 cups steamed broccoli - cooked until just past al dente
  • 1/2 medium onion - finely diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 slice toasted white bread (or scant 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs or panko)
Sweat onions in small pan until translucent, set aside in medium sized bowl. Add cooked rice and broccoli (may be added from refrigerated left overs or prepared ahead).

Melt butter in heavy bottomed sauce pan. Add flour and whisk together. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, whisking frequently, until roux turns tan in color. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Add salt and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Add half to three-quarters of the cheese, stir until melted. Add sauce to rice, broccoli, and onion mixture.

Spoon mixture into small baking dish (I have a 4x4 Le Creuset dish that fits this perfectly). Top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese.

Bake in 350F oven for 20-25 minutes until casserole is hot and bubbly.

Serves 4 bariatric or small side servings, or 2 larger portions.

Nutritional information (via, based on 4 servings): 195 calories - 10.2g fat, 19.3g carbohydrates, 3.6g sugars, 7.9g protein

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