Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole with Chickpeas
1½ cups uncooked long grain brown rice
3 cups warm water
1 quart vegetable broth (divided into 3 cups and 1 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped white onion
3 cups chopped fresh broccoli
¼ cup water
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (8-ounce) container chive and garlic imitation cream cheese
1 cup vegan shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for the top
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Soak rice in 3 cups warm water for 6-8 hours. Drain, rinse and place rice in a medium-size pot. Add 3 cups vegetable broth, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Keep covered, remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly grease a 9” x 13” casserole dish and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large, wide pot with lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and broccoli and stir for 1 minute. Add ¼ cup water, cover and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until broccoli and onion are tender. Do not remove the lid during this time as it will allow steam to escape. Remove pot from heat and add remaining ingredients, including cooked rice and remaining 1 cup vegetable broth, stirring to combine.
Spread mixture into prepared dish and sprinkle with extra vegan shredded cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted.