I love parmesan cheese, and I mean the real stuff, not the pre-grated kind that comes in a bag. The real stuff is extremely expensive up here in Alaska so it's pretty much a treat when I decide to shell out at Costco for a big wedge of it.
I saw a recipe the other day for a quinoa primavera dish that sounded really delicious. I decided to make that, but to use brown rice instead of quinoa. Yes, I know quinoa is amaaaaazing and super good for you, but heck, I just love brown rice.
The dish I came up with was cheesy, nutty and full of flavor. Also, it's chock full of veggies so I don't feel so bad about myself when I stuff my belly.
This makes enough to feed four plus lunch leftovers.
For the rice
1.5 cups dry brown rice
2.5 cups chicken stock
1 tbs. butter
Rest of the ingredients:
1/2 brick of cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbs. olive oil
4 cups frozen mixed veggies (or fresh if you happen to be fancy)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded leftover chicken (optional)
salt and pepper
I ALWAYS use Alton Brown's recipe for brown rice in the oven. It comes out perfectly every time. This time I used chicken stock instead of water and did not add any salt to the rice.
To make his oven rice, preheat oven to 375 and bring the water (or stock) to a boil in a saucepan. Place dry rice in a square baking dish and add the butter. Pour the boiling stock over the rice and stir till butter is melted. Cover tightly with foil and bake for exactly 1 hour. It's foolproof fluffy, tasty rice.
When there's about 10 minutes left on the rice, start steaming the veggies. Then heat the olive oil in a small pan and add the garlic. When garlic is lightly browned, add the cooked brown rice, the cream cheese, basil, parmesan cheese, steamed veggies and chicken. Toss over low heat till the cheeses are melted. Season with salt and pepper.