“Cheesy” Broccoli Rice Casserole

Recipe: “Cheesy” Broccoli Rice Casserole

This healthy weeknight dinner is easy to prepare and full of hidden nutrition. No one would ever guess that the velvety, cheesy sauce is hiding carrots and cashews!

Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, which helps to keep skin smooth and soft. Cashews are a good source of zinc, which may help protect against white lines on fingernails and improve acne. The casserole also contains fiber-rich brown rice, protein-rich chickpeas, and vitamin C-rich broccoli. Fiber and protein help create a feeling of fullness to prevent overeating and vitamin C is involved in collagen production for supple skin and strong teeth.

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight or in boiling water for 1 hour
2 cups cooked carrots
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon white miso paste
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups dry short grain brown rice, cooked in 3 cups water
3 small heads broccoli, finely chopped
2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

To a blender, add cashews, carrots, nutritional yeast, miso paste, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and 1 ½ cups water and blend until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine cooked brown rice, broccoli, chickpeas, and sauce and mix well. Add to a large casserole dish and smooth over the top. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the top is slightly golden. Top with cheese and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Yields 8 servings

Per serving: 452 calories, 22.2 g protein, 67.8 g carbohydrates, 14.4 g fiber, 9.5 g sugars, 14.4 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 717 mg sodium, 286 mg calcium, 0.1 g omega-3 fats, 6870 IU vitamin A, 207.2 mg vitamin C, 2.4 mg vitamin E, 4.3 mg iron, 3 mg zinc

Lisa Drayer, M.A., R.D.,
is the author of THE BEAUTY DIET and STRONG, SLIM, and 30! For more of Lisa’s Beauty Bites, visit www.lisadrayer.com.

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