Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Cheese Rice Casserole (or Quinoa)

Quinoa on the left : Rice on the right

My family has never been (and will never be) a casserole family. Mainly because of the fact that 99.99% of casseroles started out as Campbell's Recipes, meaning that all 99.99% of the casseroles call for a condensed soup in some form or the other. Condensed soup = a lot of cream = bad news for lactose intolerant. Despite the fact that this casserole not only contains soup, but a lot of cheese as well, you would think it would be the worst type of offender. Yup, no! This is what we make in our house when we've eaten plain rice for 3 days and still have mountains of it left. It's great. Just not for the lactose intolerant among us.

When I was away at university, my mom took it upon herself to bring me a couple of my favourite dishes. This being one of them. The only problem? To transport it easier she froze it. Let me tell you, rice doesn't freeze. So do yourselves a favour and enjoy this straight from the oven (or if you must, reheat it in the microwave after it's been in the fridge). Oh, and she added carrots...the nerve. While I love carrots, they don't belong in this dish, so please, please, please don't mess with the broccoli. Trust me. As a little kid I did not like broccoli, but I still loved this dish, so do me a favour and just try it.

As you can see, I'm not fond of anyone changing this dish. It is not meant to be changed. BUT...the last time we had it, we substituted in quinoa for the rice and I have to admit, it was pretty decent.

We call this recipe my Mom's Recipe, but really I think she stole it from my aunt. Were it came from before that is unknown but like I said earlier, I'd assume it originally came off a can of Cream of Mushroom Soup.


1/2 lb. Aged Cheddar Cheese, grated
2 Heads Broccoli (~2 lbs)
1 1/2 C. White Rice (or quinoa)
3 C. Water (to cook the rice / quinoa, or use the amount specified on the packaging)
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup (the condensed version)
*Optional* 1 Can Sliced Button Mushrooms, drained


~Cook rice according to package directions
~Steam broccoli until crunchy (do not cook until soft because they'll be overcooked by the time they come out of the oven).
~Mix soup, cheese (reserve enough to sprinkle over the top) and mushrooms in a large glass bowl.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~In a greased casserole dish, layer the rice, broccoli then the cheese-soup mixture. Repeat.
~Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.
~Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
~During the last couple of minutes, switch the oven over to broil so the cheese goes crunchy on top.


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