Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Last week I had an at-home retreat. I mentioned I was doing a retreat in my previous post, and wrote about my experience yesterday at my other blog, Reid All About It.

I didn’t have to cook dinner until Thursday night because my leftovers lasted until then. I thought I’d cook something new and vegetarian for dinner since Jim wasn’t around last week. I hit the jackpot with this recipe. Don’t be put off by the mention of cottage cheese, there’s no way you could identify it in the baked dish. I like cottage cheese so I’m not opposed to it but I know a lot of folks might be.

Spinach wasn’t part of the original recipe on the 101 Cookbooks blog, but since I always seem to have some in the refrigerator – I love adding it to salads or sandwiches – I added it to the casserole. I like the color and flavor it added so will include it from now on. You could probably add other vegetables like broccoli, kale, chard or zucchini.

This would make a fantastic side dish at Thanksgiving or any potluck event. It shows off its star, mushrooms, in a way that will satisfy hearty eaters. And I don’t think it’s overly fattening, especially if you use low-fat sour cream and cottage cheese.

Once again, I’ve failed in my photography duties and didn’t take any photos. But considering how my photos normally turn out, that’s no big loss. Instead, feast your eyes on these luscious earthy mushrooms.

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photo by Tup Wanders

Mushroom and Rice Casserole

You’ll need a large baking dish (I used an 8” x 12”), large skillet, medium bowl and large bowl.

  • Cooking spray and/or olive oil
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped – I used a mix of cremini and shiitake
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked brown and wild rice, room temperature (or any cooked grain)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup cottage cheese, low-fat
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, low-fat
  • 1 cup (or more) chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • a bit of fresh tarragon, thyme and/or rosemary, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Rub a medium-large baking dish (smaller than a 9×13) with a bit of olive oil or spray with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms in oil sprinkled with a couple pinches of salt. Stir every minute or so until the mushrooms have released their liquid and browned a bit. Add the onions and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes or until they’re translucent. Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute and remove from heat. Add the rice to the skillet and stir until combined.

In a medium bowl stir together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, spinach and salt. Combine the rice mixture and cottage cheese mixture in a large bowl, stir until well combined and then turn out into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes more or until hot throughout and golden along the edges. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs and the remaining Parmesan.

Original recipe can be found in two places: 101 Cookbooks and The Kitchn

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