There a few things I like about this dish.
1. The versatility. We had this slice for dinner, though it would be just as ideal for lunch, picnics, brunch, and even sliced into bite sized pieces and served as an hor d oeuvre/appetiser.
2. Loaded with veg. The latest task in the STEPS program is 'pumping up' your fruit and vegetable intake, and this dish is a great way of eating lots of veggies in a delicious and filling way!
3. Easy to make. Whilst it isn't a dish that would feature on 'Jamie's 15 minute meals', the processes are not difficult and would even be a great dish for the kids to make for you when you need a break from cooking!! (Do I need a disclaimer here to point out the possible need for supervision of knives and heat processes??)
4. Good meal for vegetarians. Given there is tofu, a rainbow of vegetables, brown rice, cheese and eggs in this dish, vegetarians are ensuring a balanced intake of protein, fibre, vitamin B12 and a multitude of other complementary vitamins and minerals. This recipe is also gluten free and could be dairy free by either omitting the cheese component altogether or using your favourite dairy free cheese.
The original recipe from where I got the inspiration is in the December 2012 Coles food magazine, Christmas edition. It is available free at all Coles supermarket stores, and given I can never walk past a food magazine without flicking through, this one caught my eye and I took it home to have a look through. I made quite a few changes, due in part to flavour preferences of my family and veggies I had available in the fridge, but it looked like a fun and different way to serve up rice and veg in our house!
So whilst I obviously used the Thermomix to cook the rice, chop the herbs and 'grate' the cheese, the remainder of the steps were done using a knife and chopping board and was cooked in the good ol' traditional oven!!
As I say with most of my recipes, use this as a guide, and as I did, use whatever veggies you have on hand. You could substitute the tofu with chicken breast, the cheese with ricotta, feta or even goats cheese, the seasonings with whatever herbs/spices you prefer, and obviously the brown rice for basmati or even a mix of quinoa and rice, wild rice and brown, or other grains you fancy such as barley, spelt etc.
Roast vegetable and brown rice slice
Ingredients2 large baking trays full of 2cm cube/roughly chopped veggies of your choice (as a guide I used 1 red onion, 2 carrots, 1 zucchini, 1/2 eggplant, 2 brown mushrooms, 1 small sweet potato, a few broccoli florets, a couple of slices of pumpkin.)
2-3 garlic cloves, left whole with skin on
oil spray (try olive or rice oil)
1 1/4 c brown rice
1 tbs homemade vegetable stock concentrate (from the TMX cookbook but 1 tsp veg/chicken stock powder could be used)
a small handful of mixed fresh herbs (I used parsley, sage, thyme and basil), finely sliced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
200g firm tofu, cut into small cubes
100-150 grams tasty cheese, grated if not using TMX
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh tomato and basil salad2 large tomatoes, diced (preferably vine ripened or organic for maximum flavour)
1 clove garlic
a small handful fresh basil leaves
squeeze of lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Method - Conventional1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line two large baking trays with baking paper and spray with oil spray.
2. Spread chopped veggies across each tray in a single layer. Add the garlic cloves, spray veggies with oil spray and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for 30-40 mins for until soft and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, cook rice in a large saucepan of boiling water and stock concentrate until cooked (see packet for instructions). Drain well and set aside to cool.
4. Grease a 22cm springform pan. (I used a large square cake tin but I'm sure a smaller baking dish would also suffice.
5. Place rice in a large mixing bowl, add finely sliced herbs and season with salt and pepper.
6. Squeeze garlic out of the skin and mash into the rice. Add eggs and stir until thoroughly combined. Add roasted vegetables, cheese and tofu and stir through gently.
7. Tip into greased baking dish and place in preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes, until set and golden brown on top.
8. Serve with tomato and basil salad, which is just the ingredients listed above tossed together and left for a few minutes for the flavours to develop.
Method - Thermomix
- Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
- Place cheese in TM bowl and 'grate' on speed 7 for a few seconds - you will hear when it is done. Set aside. No need to clean bowl.
- Place herbs in TM bowl and chop on speed 7 for a few seconds (you may need to scrape down the bowl and chop again for another few seconds). Set aside. No need to clean the bowl.
- Place 900g water and stock concentrate in TM bowl. Add rice basket to TM bowl and pour in rice. Cook on Varoma temp at speed 3-4 for 18-30 minutes (depending on the rice you use - brown rice will need closer to 30 minutes while white is around 18 minutes). Check to make sure rice is cooked and set aside to cool.
- Follow steps 4-8 above.