Thanks, Kay, that's just what I'm looking for. I'm wondering if they'll have extra time for baking. I.e., time between getting home and serving. Hmm. Oh, and what about this classic (for me)? Would it freeze well?
Brown Rice Casserole
From The Greens Cookbook
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/3 c Brown rice
Half block of tofu
1 lg Onion
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
1 green pepper
2 medium zucchini or other summer squash
6 oz mushrooms, wiped clean
1 tb Olive oil
1 tb Butter
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 t nutritional yeast (optional)
1 t ground cumin seeds
1 t salt
1 c mushroom broth, vegetable stock, or water
6 oz grated cheese
Fresh herbs, for garnish
This was one of the most popular dishes at Greens Restaurant in San
Cook the rice.
SET THE TOFU on a slanted board or pan to drain, and
prepare the vegetables. Chop the onion, carrots, celery, pepper, and
zucchini into pieces about 1/2-inch square. Quarter mushrooms if they
are small, and cut them into sixths or eighths if they are large. Cut
the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat the olive oil and the butter and
fry the onion over medium heat until it is lightly browned, about 5
minutes. Add the garlic, nutritional yeast, if using, cumin and salt.
Stir until blended and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrots, celery,
green pepper and 1/2 cup of the liquid, cover pan, and braise the
vegetables until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the
zucchini and mushrooms and cook 7 to 10 minutes. The vegetables
should be nearly, but not completely, cooked. If the pan gets dry
while they cook, add a little more liquid.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine the vegetables with rice and cheese. Season with salt and
plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Gently mix in the tofu, and
put mixture into lightly oiled casserole. Add a little more liquid to
moisten. Cover with foil and bake 1/2 hour. Remove foil and bake 15
minutes. Garnish with fresh herbs.
This dish is extremely flexible, but here are the few things I do differently:
Most important, I use a tiny fraction of the liquid - maybe 1/4 cup water, tops - and cook all the veggies *much* less time than directed. Those two steps alone will prevent everything from getting mushy. Yuck.
I use more carrots, more celery, more mushrooms, red pepper instead of green, add a yellow squash, 1/4 pound chopped green beans, and pretty much anything in my crisper or vegetable aisle that looks like it wants to join the club. oh, and cheese - more cheese.
Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt