With a day of fast and abstinence and a day of abstinence this week, I wanted to make a meatless casserole for lunches. But something – filling. This mixed greens and rice casserole looked like a good candidate for something healthy and substantial enough to carry me through the day.
I was really surprised at how tasty this casserole is, and filling, too! Definitely a keeper recipe.
For a healthier version, you can omit the eggs, milk, and cheese, if you’d like to do so.
I used a mix of spinach and collard greens, as suggested in the original recipe. Feel free to experiment with your own preferred mix of greens, or just use one, if that’s what you prefer.
Mixed Greens & Rice Casserole
2 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 bunch fresh spinach, stemmed and finely chopped
1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and finely chopped
Salt, to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Black pepper, to taste
2 tsp prepared mustard, any kind
½ cup sunflower seeds, divided
1 cup lowfat milk
1.5 packed cups grated cheese
Paprika, any kind
Prepare the rice according to directions; when finished, remove from heat, fluff, and set aside.
While the rice is cooking, use cooking spray to grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Set it aside.
In a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 6-8 minutes until soft. Add in the spinach, collard greens, salt, and garlic, and continue sautéing for another 3-4 minutes until the greens are wilted down but still a bright color. Remove from the heat and set aside.
When the rice is done, mix together the contents of the skillet, the rice, the cayenne pepper, black pepper, mustard, and ¼ cup of the sunflower seeds in a large bowl. If you’re using the eggs, milk, and cheese: mix the beaten eggs and milk together and add them into the rice/greens combination along with the grated cheese. Spread everything into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining sunflower seeds, dusting everything with a little paprika. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
When the oven is ready, bake everything, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, until heated through and the top is lightly-browned. Serve hot.
Adapted from Mollie Katzen, The New Moosewood Cookbook (2000), 10 Speed Press