As this week is National Vegetarian Week, I am sharing a vegetarian recipe some of you might like to try; rice bake. It’s a family favourite in our household, it’s relatively quick to make and it’s a great recipe for adapting to whatever vegetables you happen to have around.
In a nutshell, you cook some rice, some veg and combine with a sauce. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs and bake in the oven. The veg can be of one type only (even frozen peas!) or a mix of whatever you have to hand.
The sauce can be whatever you like too, I usually make a bechamel sauce and tweak it in some way (make it cheesy / add some tomato/pesto/mustard) but you could use any kind of homemade or ready made sauce, as you would for pasta for example. A tin of soup could even be used, something like a cream of mushroom soup would work well.
Most recently I made a rice bake with mushrooms, courgette, green pepper and asparagus with a cheese sauce. My children seem to like and eat courgette if it’s grated (not when it’s diced or sliced) so I grated it for the bake. They don’t like asparagus so I made two separate bakes, one with asparagus for my husband and I, the other without for the children. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the completed rice bake – we were in too much of a hurry to tuck in!
You will notice that I have not specified quantities in the recipe below. Simply cook the amount you think your family will eat and enjoy – there’s no risk of the recipe not turning out, I promise!
•One or more vegetables, finely diced/sliced/grated
•Cheddar cheese, grated
•Sauce (see note above)
•Preheat oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6
•Gently cook your vegetables if applicable (ie: steam/boil asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, lightly fry courgette, pepper, aubergine, mushrooms etc).
•Make your sauce unless you are using a pre-prepared sauce / tin of soup.
•Combine rice, vegetables and sauce in an ovenproof dish.
•Top with breadcrumbs and cheese.
• Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.