Brown Rice and Spinach Casserole
This is a perfect side dish, but hearty enough for a vegetarian main course. The sunflower seeds can be replaced with sesame seeds, if desired.
1 pound of fresh spinach, well chopped
3 tablespoons butter or substitute
½ cup of shelled sunflower seeds
6 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups tomato sauce (Check label for allergens)
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
¾ cup of shredded cheddar
Paprika, to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large pot, cook the spinach in boiling water (or steam). Drain very well, patting dry with paper towels to absorb extra water. Set aside.
While the spinach is cooking, heat the butter, or substitute, in a small skillet. Add the sunflower seeds, and cook for a few minutes to brown.
In a deep skillet, over medium-high heat, combine the brown rice, cooked spinach, tomato sauce, and the seasoning. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until most of water is absorbed.
Next add in the sautéed sunflower seeds into the rice mixture, and mix well.
Place the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle the top with the shredded cheese and the paprika.
Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
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