The first thing I need to point out is that the timing estimate at the top of this Moosewood Cookbook recipe is correct, and that it needs to be read carefully 40 minutes PLUS 40 minutes. Brown rice takes the better part of 40 minutes to cook, and the chef needs to spend most of that time preparing the dish. So this is a good weeknight dish if started early in the evening. I ended up rushing it just a bit.
That said, I will jump right to the punchline and say that this is a great meal. It scores very high on the delicious-nutritious-easy-cheap trade-off matrix, scoring high on all four measures. Some time is involved, and a lot of bowls are used, but this still qualifies as easy.
I decided to scan the full recipe, since it has a lot of details but conveniently fits on one page. My variations were two: one intentional and one otherwise. First, the otherwise: I somehow mis-read the rice proportions and only used one cup of dry rice with 2 cups of water. I should have used 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water. I also did the trick we usually use in our kitchen now -- sauteeing the rice in a bit of oil for about a minute before adding the water and bringing to a boil. Incidentally, I used 2, 10-ounce bags of spinach instead of 2 full pounds. This filled our dutch oven at one point, but of course reduced to a manageable amount before I needed to mix everything together.
Second, the intentional: rather than topping this with just sunflower seeds and paprika, I mixed those with about a cup each of shredded cheddar and panko crumbs. This made the best casserole topping I have ever encountered.
|The entire recipe -- click to enlarge.|