There’s No Zucchini Here

Zucchini Rice Casserole

Zucchini Rice Casserole

Not to keep harping on this, but there are just some foods I was traumatized by as a child. Zucchini is one of them. I just can’t help thinking of phlegm.

As part of my effort to bring the ‘good’ foods back into my house, I’m trying out zucchini again. But I still cringe at MY OWN cooking if there’s zucchini in it. So the more I hide it FROM MYSELF, the happier I am. Blegh.

Enter the grater. Make it as small as possible. Hite it. And add cheese. It really works. Not only do I eat this, but The Man eats it. He actually says ‘yum’ when he finds me making it. I am NOT shitting you.

First make 1 cup of basmati rice, which becomes a little over 2 cups. While that’s cooling off a little, grate up
3 small zucchinis (or two medium ones, but this is a case of smaller is better)
2 medium carrots
6 to 8 ounces of cheddar (white sharp cheddar, not the orange junk)

You’ll need to toss that in a large, heat-resistant bowl with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Keep a little of the grated cheese to sprinkle on top later. Add in:
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon mustard (Ba-Tampte is our current fav.)
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt (more if you like salt)
¼ teaspoon chili powder (or just a nice dash of cayenne)

I like to add in a few cloves of crushed garlic, or half of an onion, diced fine. I like to add some protein in the form of a can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed. Once you mix it all together to get all moist and evenly spread around, scoop in the rice and mix it up a bit more. Pour this into a casserole dish – I like to separate it into two 8”x8” dishes so that I can bake the second one in a few days for fresh casserole. Spread it out and smoosh it flatter or the pokes of rice will get overly crunchy, and then sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese gets nice and bubbly with a little golden color. Probably about 20 minutes or so. After a few minutes to cool, you’re good to go. You can’t even tell there’s zucchini in there. Really. You don’t even have to tell anyone.

So, ingredient synopsis:
2 cups prepared basmati rice
3 small zucchinis, grated
2 medium carrots, grated
6-8 oz sharp cheddar, grated
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon mustard
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder (or just a nice dash of cayenne)
Either 3 nice cloves of garlic crushed, or ½ finely diced onion (optional)
1 can cannellini beans (optional)

If you want to hide the zucchini in there a little better, maybe finely chop up some spinach to camouflage the green bits 😉

[Girl21]