Grains and Greens Casserole is very flexible! Vary the grains and vary the greens!
I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! It was just the two of us for Thanksgiving, so I didn’t have to do a lot, but did anyway and thoroughly enjoyed it.
As a personal chef, most days I’m really under the gun. I’m struggling to leave the house on time to get to the grocery store, then get through the grocery store with my 5-page list, then get through the checkout with a full cart, then get to the clients on time, then get unpacked, do the prep, the cooking, then clean-up–all at a reasonable time. All accomplished while on my feet all day. And of course, the driving! But, yay-hoo…..I can sit when I’m driving.
A question I am asked frequently is: “How on earth can you do that four days a week?”
I honestly don’t know, folks.
Some days are easier than others. Some days I want to quit and just blog full-time.
I just know that I love to cook.
Thanksgiving Day was absolutely gorgeous here–gorgeous enough to have the windows open. I cooked at my own leisurely pace while watching the Fixer Upper marathon on HGTV (LOVE that show!). Every so often I’d hear the leaves rustling outside and pay attention to them. I totally got my cooking zen on!
Having gone a little food crazy in my zen state, we have plenty of leftovers. However, at least once during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I want something easy and different–like this casserole.
My Grains and Greens Casserole is super-flexible. I used brown rice here, but you can use any grain you’d like such as barley, lentils or quinoa and any greens that you’d like. I used kale, bok choy and baby spinach here. Love me some greens no matter what they are! And of course, you could always add leftover turkey!
The easiest way I have found to cook brown rice is to simply get a saucepan of water boiling, add some salt then add the brown rice and let it boil away uncovered.
Yes, that’s right–no measuring, no timing, no possibly burning the rice on the bottom–just boil it like pasta. Check it after about 20 minutes and if it’s done the way you like it, then drain in a sieve. If not, let it keep boiling. (Some brands tend to take longer than others.) Add water as necessary to keep it cooking in plenty of water.
As with pasta, if brown rice is cooked in a small amount of water it gets gummy and sticky because basically, it has cooked in its own starch. With this method, you will have beautiful, fluffy brown rice each and every time!
Because the “pasta method” for brown rice is so easy and fool-proof, I always cook extra brown rice so I have it on hand for a casserole or a side dish–it freezes beautifully.
The texture of this casserole is slightly different from most casseroles you may be used to. There’s no creamy “binder,” which in the South often involves a can of cream of mushroom soup, sour cream or mayonnaise. It’s just eggs and cheese for a delightfully chewy, crunchy texture.
A slightly spicy homemade tomato soup is perfect on the side. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!
20 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for pan
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
8 heads baby bok choy, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 bunch kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 bag (10-ounce) baby spinach
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cooked brown rice (or barley, lentils or quinoa or a combination)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saute pan. Add onion and cook until softened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the bok choy and kale in batches; cook each batch until wilted. Stir in garlic. Transfer to a large bowl. Add spinach to wilt slightly.
Stir in cooked brown rice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Stir in eggs and cheese.
Transfer to prepared baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese and top is lightly browned.
Prep time does not include cooking the rice.
MAKE AHEAD: Assemble, cool and refrigerator up to 2 days ahead.
TO REHEAT LEFTOVERS: Cut into squares, wrap loosely in aluminum foil. Heat at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.