My goodness. We’ve been having the most amazing stretch of weather. Last week, we were slogging through our twelfth straight day of hundred degree temperatures. Then the clouds rolled in, the raindrops came, and the temperatures went way, way down. And it’s wonderful. Eighty degrees in Texas in August? Yes please!
With weather more like early October than mid-August, I couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen and make a dinner that required more than heating up the grill or putting together a salad. A quick search of my friend Courtney’s blog, and I knew exactly what I’d make.
Let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s one of my new favorites. It was a snap to put together–I got the rice going, then prepped the chicken and the vegetables while it cooked. By cooking the rice and chicken ahead of time, the casserole could easily become a weeknight staple. The leftovers were fantastic, too. I loved it so much, I’m already thinking about the vegetable combinations I’ll use as the seasons change. Fall and winter, I’m comin’ for ya.
For now, I’ll just keep smiling through this glorious bit of decidedly non-August weather.
Summer’s bounty really shines in this easy, healthy, flavor-packed casserole your whole family is sure to love.
Roasted Summer Vegetable and Rice Casserole with Chicken
adapted from Cook Like a Champion
1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 medium summer squash, sliced into half moons
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 TBSP olive oil, divided
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 c. cottage cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 c. Parmesan cheese, divided
2/3 c. corn kernels (cut from 1-2 ears or frozen)
2 c. cooked brown rice
2 c. cooked, shredded chicken (chickpeas would be a great vegetarian substitute)
1/3 c. chopped fresh basil, divided
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together the zucchini, squash, and bell pepper with 1 TBSP olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Roast 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
3. Add tomatoes and remaining oil. Toss to combine, then roast 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 350° F.
4. While the vegetables cool, make the sauce by whisking together the eggs, Dijon mustard, cottage cheese, garlic, and half the Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, cut the pepper strips into bite-sized pieces and add them to the egg mixture along with the remaining vegetables, rice, chicken, and half the basil. Stir to combine, then transfer to a prepared 2 quart casserole dish or 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and lightly cover with foil, taking care not to press the foil down onto the cheese. (You want all that goodness to stay with the casserole!)
6. Bake 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake 15 minutes more. Allow the casserole to rest for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.
Yield: 8 servings