Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole Adapted from Taste of Home Casseroles magazine
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
2 cups chopped onions, divided
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 cups fresh cauliflowerets
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
 2 medium sweet red peppers, julienned
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup salted cashew halves, optional
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Directions:  In a greased 3 qt baking dish, combine the broth, rice, 1 cup onion, soy sauce, butter and thyme.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 65-70 minutes or until rice is tender. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, garlic and remaining onion in oil until crisp-tender.  spoon over rice.

Cover and bake the veggies spooned over the rice for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Uncover and sprinkle with cashes and cheese, if desired.  Bake 5-7 additional minutes.


I used quick-cooking rice instead of making rice the traditional way; thus, the 1 onion, soy sauce and Dijon mustard were left out.

Here's what I started with:

Here's how I did it:

#1 I cut up a head of broccoli, 1 onion, 1 head of cauliflower and 2 red peppers, 2 cloves of garlic and mixed them up in a bowl.

#2 I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

#3 I put some olive oil in a skillet and then added the veggies.  I let them cook for about 8 minutes.  I also added a little bit of chicken stock after they had cooked for a bit.

#4 After cooking the brown rice per package instructions, I dumped it out in a 9x13 baking dish.

#5 I added the veggies to the baking dish and stirred it up.

#6 I spread some shredded cheddar cheese over the dish and popped it in the oven for about 8 minutes.

The Finished Product:


This was a great side dish.  I loved the combination of the veggies and the rice together.  I didn't use a whole 2 cups of cheese, and you could totally leave it out for an even healthier version, but the cheese added to the flavor especially when it was on the broccoli and cauliflower.

It was kind of funny because Scott said that he thought it would taste great with either soy sauce on top or szechuan sauce which the original recipe called for 3 Tbsps of soy sauce.  I didn't miss it, though.

We ate and ate on this.  It was a great, healthy side dish.  I served this dish with Super Short Ribs.

Hope you enjoy!

Super Short Ribs

Scott has been talking about ribs for the past couple of weeks so when I saw this recipe for them I knew that I had to try them.

Super Short Ribs Adapted from Taste of Home Simple and Delicious magazine
3 medium onions, cut into wedges
3 to 3 1/2lbs bone-in beef short ribs
1 bay leaf
1 bottle (12 oz) of light beer or nonalcoholic beer
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp beef bouillon granules
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold water

Directions: Place onions in a 5qt slow cooker; add ribs and bay leaf. Combine the beer, brown sugar, mustard, tomato paste, thyme, bouillon, salt and pepper. Pour over meat. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove meat and vegetables to a serving platter; keep warm. Discard bay leaf. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer juices to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine flour and water until smooth. Gradually stir into the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with meat and noodles.


-I didn't make the gravy to cover the ribs.

Here's what I started with:

 Here's how I did it:

#1 I cut the ribs at one of the bones so they would fit into my crockpot.

#2 I quartered 2 large onions and put them in the crockpot.

#3 The ribs went in on top of the onions and I seasoned them with Home Seasoning .

#4 I poured a beer into a bowl.

#5 I added 2 beef bouillon cubes, 2 Tbsps of Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsps of brown sugar, 2 tsp thyme (or the rest of what I had) and I mixed it altogether.

#6 I poured it over the ribs, covered them and set them to cook for 8 hours.

The Finished Product:


As you can tell from the pictures above, the meat fell off the bones.  I literally  had to dig it out of the bottom of the crockpot.

A couple of things about this dish:  #1 I thought that 3.25lbs looked like A LOT of meat when I brought it home; however, it really wasn't.  Between Scott, me, Kanin and Gracie there really wasn't enough meat to go around.  I think that next time I would buy 4-5lbs instead.

I used beef ribs and there was A LOT of fat on them.  I mean A LOT.  I know that fat gives the meat flavor but we were pulling fat off like crazy.  I don't know if this is just the package of ribs that I picked up or if this is normal.

The flavor was fantastic; however, I think that in my mind when I think of ribs I think of bbq.  Next time, I think I will just cook them with some garlic, onions and a couple of bottles of bbq sauce.  I think that that would be incredible seeing that these ribs were so moist and so tender.

I served them with Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole.

Hope you enjoy!

Vegetable Medley

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vegetable Medley from Taste of Home Simple and Delicious Magazine
1 cup uncooked medium pasta shells
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen cut green beans
1 Tbsp corn starch
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp butter
1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 can (4-1/2 oz) whole mushrooms, drained
1 small tomato, chopped

Directions: In a Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions, adding the beans during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and broth until smooth; set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter; add the mustard, basil and garlic powder. Gradually stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Drain past and beans; return to the Dutch oven. Add the mustard sauce and mushrooms; toss to coat. Stir in tomato.

Here's what I started with:

Here's how I did it:

#1 I measured out 1 cup of pasta and put water on to boil.  I cooked the pasta according to the package directions.

#2 I poured 3/4 cup of chicken broth into a bowl and added 1 Tbsp of corn starch to it.  I stirred it until it was smooth and then set it aside.

#3 I melted 3 Tbsps of butter in a sauce pan.

#4 I added the Dijon mustard, basil and garlic powder. 

#5 I added the corn starch mixture to the sauce pan and let it come up to a boil for a couple of minutes and then turned it down on low.

#6 I cut up a tomato.

#7 Once the pasta was almost done, I threw in a bag of frozen green beans for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.

#8 Once finished, I drained the pasta and green beans and put them back in the pan and I added the corn starch/chicken broth.

#9 I drained a can of mushrooms and added it and then topped it off with the tomato.

The Finished Product:

Pictured below with Tuscan Chicken and a can of corn.


This side dish was a nice change from any of the traditional sides that I would normally have with chicken. 

I really liked the flavor of this sauce.  The Dijon mustard gave it a nice tang but it wasn't overpowering.  If I could do anything differently, I think I would have added just a bag of mixed veggies instead of just green beans.  I think it would taste great with some carrots in there, too.  The sauce on the fresh tomato was great and the pasta really kind of played back seat to the green beans, almost like a filler.

Overall, I thought this dish was a good change from the norm.

Hope you Enjoy!

Tuscan Chicken

Tuscan Chicken from Taste of Home Simple and Delicious Magazine

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:  Flatten chicken to 1/2 inch thickness; sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the garlic, rosemary, sage and thyme in oil for 1 minute. Add chicken; cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until chicken juices run clear.

Here's what I started with:

Here's how I did it:

#1 I don't have a mallet so I just used the bottom of a pan to pound out the chicken.

#2 I seasoned the chicken with Home Seasoning.

#3 I chopped up 3 garlic cloves and put them in a pan with 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil.

#4 I added in the rosemary, sage and thyme and let them cook for about a minute.

#5 I added the chicken to the pan and let each side cook for about 7 minutes.

The Finished Product:

Served here with corn and Vegetable Medley.


This chicken was really good and flavorful.  Pounding the chicken down really opened it up to all of the flavors of the herbs and made it very fast and easy to cook.

We loved this chicken and will definitely have it again!

Hope you enjoy!