I totally understand wanting a healthy food reset in the new year. But, there's a strong argument to be made for comfort food in January because it's cold and it gets dark ridiculously early and it's a little depressing when the holidays are over. We can compromise between the two, though.
This casserole might be cheesy but it's also packed with a ton of vegetables. Even better, it's easy to make and the leftovers (assuming you have leftovers) are great for lunch the next day with a side salad.
Feel free to switch out the veggies for whichever are your favorites. I was actually thinking that cauliflower and asparagus would have been great additions as well. Make it vegetarian by using vegetable instead of chicken stock or go crazy and add some crumbled up cooked bacon to the mix. This casserole will taste great no matter what. Enjoy!
Cheesy Rice and Vegetable Bake
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Onion, peeled and diced
- 2 Carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 Zucchini, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 Cups rice
- 3 1/2 Cups low sodium chicken (or vegetable) stock
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 2 Cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the diced onion. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the diced carrots and butternut squash and continue cooking and stirring for another 5 minutes. Add the diced zucchini and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Stir in the rice and add the chicken stock, salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Stir in half the cheese, cover and allow to cook on medium low heat for 15 minutes.
- Transfer to a baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted and a light golden brown. Serve hot.