Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Whoa. Things have been crazier than usual around here, and I've had little time for writing lately! We're heading out for a fun day of baseball in a little while with friends at the Montgomery Biscuits home opener. It's Homeschool Day at Riverwalk Stadium! But before we leave, I wanted to share my recipe for broccoli and rice casserole. I made this on Easter for our family potluck meal. This is Mama's recipe, but I did do it a little different this time.

Begin by finely chopping three stalks of celery.

I love to use the leaves, too. They're so pretty and full of flavor!

Chop them up, too.

Add one diced onion and the celery to three tablespoons butter and two tablespoons EVOO. Saute until tender.

Using frozen broccoli saves time. I'm all for that.

Let it thaw and then chop it up.

When the onions and celery are translucent, remove from the pan.

Add chopped broccoli to two more tablespoons of butter and two more tablespoons of EVOO. Saute until tender.

Earlier in the day, I cooked one and a half cups of rice in three cups of water. I let it cool covered on the stovetop.

In a large bowl, mix rice, two cans cream of mushroom soup, a large jar of Cheese-whiz, onions and celery and the zest of one lemon.

Add salt to taste and LOTS of fresh black pepper.

Add broccoli.

Mix well.

Spread into a prepared casserole dish.

Baked covered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted.

How did I change up my mother's recipe? Well - it calls for lemon pepper, which I did not have. I don't use it and frankly, didn't want to buy. But I did have my pepper mill and fresh lemons! The lemon zest brightened this casserole. In my opinion, it was the best it's ever tasted!

Despite the fact I opted for fresh lemon zest instead of lemon pepper, I did stick with the Cheese-Whiz. I know. Don't judge, It really would not be the same with real cheddar. Not nearly as creamy. Trust me!

This has long been a family favorite of ours. The kids even eat this because of the rice and cheese. They don't really notice the broccoli! I hope you'll try it. It will soon be one of your family favorites, too.

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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