Monday, May 14, 2012

Minnesota Nice; or, Tofu Rice Casserole

We had a cold snap last week here in Minnesota. Not shocking, right? Minnesota? Cold?

I took advantage of that chill in the air to make a nice, warm rice casserole. Up here, I learned, anything in a casserole dish is a "hot dish." One of my friends even joked that, up here, kugel becomes a "hot dish."

Well, this "hot dish" is filled with nothing that you'd normally find in such a dish up here. There's no cream. An absence of tuna, ground beef, and cheese. And yet, it is SO rich and comforting that it will put you in a food coma.

Don't wait for the cold to hit again. Make this casserole, curl up with a cup of tea and a good movie, and settle in.

Kale-Tofu-Rice Casserole

Adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook 

2 cups brown brown basmati rice, uncooked
1 tbsp butter
2 cups diced onion
2 lbs fresh kale, chopped
1 tsp salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Black pepper, to taste
8 oz tofu, pressed and crumbled
panko bread crumbs
4 oz goat cheese

Cook the rice in a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Cover, boil, then reduce to simmer, and cook (35-40 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with olive oil.

In a skillet, heat the butter until just melted. Add onion, and cook until softened and translucent. Add kale, garlic, and salt; cook until kale is wilted. Stir this mixture into the rice. Add the cayenne pepper, black pepper, crumbed tofu and goat cheese; mix until just combined. Transfer to baking pan, top with panko bread crumbs, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the panko is browned and the casserole is heated through.

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