Creamy Rice Casserole

I love rice! Its so very versatile and it goes down so easily too. Unfortunately that is why we tend to overeat! Still, I always like to try new ways to make rice. The other day, I wanted to eat rice but not in a fried rice or pulao. Too repetitive. Biriyani? Too time consuming. Then…how about a casserole? Its creamy, its yummy and it has its quota of vegetables and protein so that you can feel good about eating it. So, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

A bowlful of almost cooked rice

1 chopped carrot

1 chopped capsicum

1 cup sweet corn

1 deseeded tomato cut into squares

1 cup protein of your choice, cottage cheese, tofu or shredded boiled chicken

1 chopped onion

3-4 cheese cubes

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

6-7 cloves of chopped garlic

Pinch of black pepper

Pinch of oregano or italian seasoning

A handful of chopped coriander

1 tablespoon pesto sauce

Olive oil

Salt as per taste

Method:

In a pan, heat oil. Once it’s hot, add the chopped carrot, capsicum and sweet corn. After the veggies turn tender, add the tomato ketchup, black pepper and oregano. Give everything a stir and then add the protein of your choice. Let everything together for 5-10 minutes. You can add in a little water if required. Just before switching off the flame, add the grated cheese and chopped coriander. And now for the rice. In a pan, heat some olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped garlic and chopped onion. Once the onion turns pink, add the pesto sauce. Mix everything together and then add the rice. Sprinkle some coriander and stir everything together. Switch off the flame after five minutes. Time for the white sauce now. In a pan, heat a dollop of butter together with some olive oil. Pour in the milk. In a bowl, mix some all purpose flour with some water. Gently stir the flour mixture into the pan. Season with black pepper and salt as required. Now grease a baking dish with some olive oil. Layer one serving of the veggies and protein sauce. Then add a layer of rice. Another layer of veggies and another of rice. Pour on the white sauce. Top it with some cubes of capsicum and tomatoes. You can also use black olives. Sprinkle some oregano and black pepper powder. Finish with grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake in the oven until the top turns a golden brown. Dish it up and enjoy a serving of delicious health.

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