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My Mother's Broccoli Casserole

What you need: 

Casserole:
1/2 cup (dry) rice, brown or white
1 cup water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water
6 to 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped (I use baby portobellos)
salt and pepper, to taste
splash Bragg's, optional
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon oregano
16 ounces broccoli (frozen or fresh)
4 to 5 ounces vegan cheddar, cubed (I use almost 1/2 block Follow Your Heart)
1/4 cup nondairy milk
2 to 3 tablespoons vegan butter Breadcrumbs (can also use Pepperidge Farm stuffing):
2-3 pieces bread
olive oil, as needed
oregano, to taste
basil, to taste

What you do: 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare rice with the water according to package directions, and set aside. Dissolve veggie cube in nondairy milk. Dissolve cornstarch into cold water and add to milk mixture. Whisk until it thickens. Add more cornstarch, if necessary.
2. Stir in mushrooms, and add salt and pepper. Add Bragg's, if desired. (Sometimes I add it to cut the salt amount.) Set this mixture to the side. Saute celery and onion until the onion is translucent.
3. Add the garlic and oregano. While the celery and onion saute, steam the broccoli until it is slightly undercooked (it will cook more in the oven). Drain well. In a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish, combine the mushroom mixture, celery/onion mixture, rice, and broccoli.
4. Melt cheese in a saucepan with nondairy milk and butter. When it reaches a "cheez whiz" like consistency, pour and stir it into the casserole. If making bread topping, drizzle bread with olive oil and herbs, then toast. Crumble into chunks or crumbs.
5. Sprinkle the breading on top of casserole and bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until topping has browned and the casserole feels firm. Enjoy!
Source of recipe: My mother got this recipe from a church cookbook and modified it. Then I veganized it.

Preparation Time: 
30-45 minutes, Cooking time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 
45 minutes
Servings: 
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

This was delicious and also a very forgiving recipe.  I was a scatterbrain when preparing it and forgot to saute the oregano and garlic with the onions and celery.  So I added a little garlic powder when mixing everything together.  Turned out great.  Also, I almost forgot to add the mushrooms so they were a last minute addition prior to sticking it in the oven.  Next time I think I'll add some more vegetables like carrots and peas because I think they'd be a great as well as having the topping be breaded fried onions. ( not that the other is bad..it's good!  I just like onions )  The directions don't say when to add the rice so I mixed it in during step 4.  I used the 1/2 cup dry but there's enough sauce so to merit the full cup dry and still be moist.

Tastes great the next day too!  A definate keeper.  5 stars!  Thanks Lotus.

Mirrya, I agree that this recipe is quite forgiving.  My mom actually doesn't add garlic or oregano...that was my contribution.  Also, my mom has always wanted to add more veggies, esp carrots, but she doesn't because my dad doesn't like them.  I bet it would be good with fried onions!  I'll have to try that.

I'm glad you all enjoyed it!  It's always been my favorite at family dinners.  For the record, my parents said the veganized version tasted just like the original.  :)

Oh!  Sorry about the rice...yeah, I just add it when I mix everything else together. 

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Delicious!
I followed the recipe pretty closely - I used 2 bunches of fresh broccoli, a little more than a half a cup of leftover jasmine rice, omitted celery (as usual) and used pre-made cornbread stuffing for the top.  I didn't have a lot of stove top space left, so I just prepared it all in one pot - and it worked just fine. 
I will definitely make this again - I already ate all of the leftovers!

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Lotus42 give your mother my regards...that is a great casserole! It came out really good and yummy

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This was delicious and also a very forgiving recipe.  I was a scatterbrain when preparing it and forgot to saute the oregano and garlic with the onions and celery.  So I added a little garlic powder when mixing everything together.  Turned out great.  Also, I almost forgot to add the mushrooms so they were a last minute addition prior to sticking it in the oven.  Next time I think I'll add some more vegetables like carrots and peas because I think they'd be a great as well as having the topping be breaded fried onions. ( not that the other is bad..it's good!  I just like onions )  The directions don't say when to add the rice so I mixed it in during step 4.  I used the 1/2 cup dry but there's enough sauce so to merit the full cup dry and still be moist.

Tastes great the next day too!  A definate keeper.  5 stars!  Thanks Lotus.

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I think it will be really good with a nooch sauce.  I just used the FYH cheddar to imitate "cheez whiz" or "velveeta."  My mom almost always uses frozen broccoli when she makes this.  It works just fine.  I hope you like it! 

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This looks really delish--a great way to use up leftover rice. I have frozen broccoli that I'm going to try. I also don't really like the vegan cheeses very much, so I'm going to try to mix in the nutritional yeast queso dip (I'm serious, I will put this on anything). I think I'll try it tonight! Great recipe.

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