Enchanted Broccoli Forest
Craving broccoli and cheese but not the extra pounds? Looking for a new recipe for the company potluck to stand above the obligate potato salad, crockpot meatballs, and bundt cake? Feeling whimsical and just a little quirky?
Let me introduce you to the Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Yep. That’s the name of this dish. It is also the name of the cookbook from which I adapted the recipe — and the dish that is the namesake of a cookbook must be good, right!?
This really is a fun dish. A healthy brown rice pilaf is mixed with cheese and egg whites to provide for a sturdy base (when baked) to support delicious, lightly steamed, broccoli spears (the trees!).
I adapted the recipe significantly from the original – adding frozen peas to the pilaf as well as lemon pepper. The original recipe used more cheese and included the addition of melted butter in the final step (drizzling the forest with lemon juice). I, of course, cannot resist cutting the amount of cheese in half nor can I resist omitting the butter. I’m sure, if those were included, this dish would be great, but as I’ve posted it this meal is a keeper anyway.
The cookbook suggests it as a meatless main dish. I like to use it as a side dish since it incorporates healthy doses of veggies and carbs in one easy pot. Either persuasion is fine.
Enchanted Broccoli Forest (serves 3, adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest)
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 onion, diced
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cheddar
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 crowns broccoli, removed of woody stumps and cut into spears
3 egg whites (if doubling recipe, use 3 whole eggs), lightly beaten
2 T lemon juice (and if you are indulgent, + 2 T melted butter)
Cook brown rice according to preference. Saute onions and garlic with spices, adding frozen peas once onions are translucent. Mix with rice. Fold cheese into mixture. When rice is sufficiently cool not to cook the egg whites, fold in lightly beaten whites.
Preheat oven to 350*. Meanwhile, lightly steam broccoli spears until just tender (but sturdy enough to stand up in the forest!). Spread rice pilaf into baking dish and prop spears of broccoli up in the rice. Pour lemon juice over forest. Tent with foil firmly and bake at 350* for 30 minutes.
Total Fat 9.8 g
Protein 16.2 g