If you are looking for a more exciting way to eat brown rice that also won’t require spending all day in the kitchen, a brown rice casserole is it!
As far as I am concerned, casseroles rank right up there with the most genius of dishes for the time-crunched among us. You spend just a few minutes mixing a bunch of ingredients together in a bowl, pop the whole concoction in the oven and in about 30 or 40 minutes, Voila! Dinner is done.
Of course I realize casseroles and clean eating might not seem like an ideal match. And I know casseroles in general do not have a particularly sophisticated image. But this is such a shame! Casseroles really can be incredibly delicious and there is absolutely no reason they have to be unhealthy either.
Unlike conventional casserole recipes, the Rosemary, Spinach and Brown Rice Casserole recipe below is 100% whole grain, dairy-free and oil-free. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have that strange “something is missing” quality either. In other words, it doesn’t taste as though it as been tweaked to be made healthy. And it has the richness and substance you would expect from any classic casserole.
The Secret Ingredient
A lot of casserole recipes rely on ingredients like cream or canned mushroom soup for richness. But the secret “clean” ingredient to making the Rosemary, Spinach and Brown Rice Casserole recipe below taste rich and delicious is pecan milk. Pecan milk is incredibly easy to make—all you need is araw pecans and water. You’ll be amazed…blown away, really…by the magic of this special secret ingredient!
Make Any Rice Casserole Easier
Since you almost always need to make the rice before you can assemble the rest of the casserole, preparing the rice is often the most time-consuming component of making any rice casserole recipe. If you are pressed for time, the mere thought of standing over a pot of rice cooking on the stove-top can be enough to discourage you from making the casserole in the first place. But having a rice cooker is rice casserole recipe game changer!
If you are into clean eating and you don’t own one already, having a rice cooker can really make your life a whole lot easier. Not only do rice cookers prepare absolutely perfect rice every single time, they also cook every other whole grain to perfection (including quinoa, amaranth, millet, etc.) Thanks to my rice cooker, I am always able to keep a pot of cooked whole grains in the fridge at all times, which is one of my five secrets to making quick and healthy meals.
With a lead-free and chemical-free clay pot insert, Vita-Clay is definitely my favorite brand of rice cooker.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to buy a rice cooker then simply stop by your local Chinese store and ask for a few pints of cooked short grain brown rice.
Want a Healthier Brown Rice Casserole?
Using sprouted whole grains will always enhance the overall nutritional value of any whole grain recipe. That’s because sprouting releases all the vital nutrients stored within the whole grain. For the brown rice casserole recipe below you will need to use a short grain brown rice and I suggest:
Want a Heartier Brown Rice Casserole?
And finally, if you want a heartier brown rice casserole simply add a can of sockeye salmon to the rice mixture just before baking. Note: sockeye salmon is always wild and an excellent “clean” seafood choice.
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- 3 organic (pastured eggs)
- 1 box (10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly patted dry with paper towels)
- 3 cups cooked short-grain brown rice (such as by Lundberg)
- 2/3 cup raw pecans (divided in half)
- 1 teaspoon organic Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8 x 8-inch casserole with extra virgin olive oil.
- Place 1/2 of the pecans and ½ cup water in a high-speed blender, like our favorite one from Ninja or food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Set “pecan milk” aside. Finely chop the remaining pecans and set aside.
- Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl; whisk briefly. Add the spinach. Stir in the rice, pecan “milk”, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
- Transfer spinach and rice mixture to the prepared casserole. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle on the chopped pecans. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove casserole from the oven, cool on a wire-rack 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve warm.