Monday, October 17, 2011

Meatless Guest Post: Branny's Collard and Rice Casserole

Hi. I'm Branny from Branny Boils Over. I have been a fan of Culinary Bliss for a long time and am thrilled to share a recipe with you guys. First, how about an introduction? I've been food blogging since 2009. I started blogging the vegetarian meals I made for my family and how I adapted them to my husband's meat-loving preferences. Push came to shove and after 6 years of being a vegetarian I started eating meat again. So what you'll find on the blog these days are meals heavily skewed toward meatless with a few healthy dishes that contain meats thrown in. In 2011, my husband and I also moved from Charlotte to a rural town in South Carolina to live the dream of owning a horse farm. It has been quite an adventure and I keep track of all the goings-on in my horse blog, From Hey to Horses.

I heard Paula Deen on NPR the other morning when I was driving to work. She was praising Southerners for all the vegetables we eat. She recited quite a list of many dishes (that I'm not sure I'd consider 'vegetable heavy' but whatever) such as collard greens, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and lima beans. The interviewer astutely recognizes Paula's tendency to cook vegetables in an unhealthy rendition and asked if it was possible to make these same vegetables shine without butter, lard, and bacon grease. In short, her answer was no.

Hold it right there, Lady! Just because you can't pull it off doesn't mean I can't! I'd invite her over for dinner right this minute and show her how healthy cooking with traditionally Southern ingredients can be.

This dish was served as a side dish but I don't see why it can't be served as a main course: chickpeas, collards, brown rice, and cheese all combine to make it quite filling.

It would be a fantastic dish to take to a neighbor or potluck and the leftovers are as delicious as the first day's meal. The original recipe called for kale, but I used collards, so feel free to use either.

Collard and Rice Casserole (a moosewood recipe adapted from Cate's World Kitchen)
3 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1.5 cups chick peas
1 tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cups chopped greens
1 tsp salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp mustard
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup grated Swiss cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish or 13 x 9 pan.

Heat the butter in a deep skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the greens , salt and garlic and cook another 6-8 minutes, until the greens are wilted and tender.

Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the rice, greens, chickpeas, nutmeg, cayenne, mustard, half the almonds, eggs, milk, and half the cheese. Mix well, then pour into casserole dish.

Top with remaining cheese and sunflower seeds. Bake for about 35 minutes, until beginning to brown on top.

1 comment:

Kierstan said...

Great recipe and guest post!

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