For my food self, this is a yummy yummy good good week.
Mostly because I have a little collection of leftover containers holding what’s left of this delicious homemade Rice-A-Roni-esque meal. Two options right now: 1) judge the fact that I just likened this to Rice-A-Roni or 2) be a real person who likes good food made from scratch that just happens to taste like Rice-A-Roni. I already know what choice you’ll make, because you rock. Mwah.
I love when I get to the middle of a workday Monday and I remember that I have amazing lunch leftovers waiting for me. No more of this sad baggie of pretzels and small container of peanut butter thing I’ve been into lately. This week is going to be for realishly good.
Right now this 30 Minute Healthy Broccoli Cheese Rice is reminding me of an extra satisfying version of broccoli cheese soup, because sometimes broccoli cheese soup totally dominates in the flavor/comfort department but is a little bit lacking in the satisfying-my-imminent-hunger department. It’s just hard for me to consider liquid a real official meal sometimes. Amen? Everything about this – the incredible texture, the cheddar flavor, and the bright green of the broccoli – is giving me an instant food-mood boost.
Good thing my food self is having a great week because my regular life self is having a bleh moment.
Remember that studio that I fell in love with a few weeks ago? I don’t think I’ve shared much about it here, but I had shown a few pics of it on the social media thingys and had almost already taken to coming up with our own hashtag for it on Instagram. (Bjork wouldn’t let me. He’s always so rational like that.) It was a little studio in the arts district that we wanted to use as a blog photography and video studio kitchen for Pinch of Yum. So basically a food play room where adults pretend like they’re working but they’re actually just eating food and having fun. ❤
The bleh moment comes in when we took forever getting ready to commit and then when we finally did commit… we were too late. One day too late. And we didn’t get it.
Some supersneaky (read: organized and decisive and on the ball) person swooped in the day before our plumber was able to get there to confirm that the kitchen would function properly, and they nabbed that cozy little space like there was no tomorrow. And then there actually was no tomorrow for us to sign the lease. That was pretty much bleh.
It’s all well and good, it wasn’t meant to be, I know. I really do know that. But that doesn’t take away my depressed feelings about all the wasted time we spent driving there, looking at comparables, and deciding on which place we liked best. Plus, I’ve since scoured every corner of the internets and I cannot find a listing half as warm+cozy+creative. It was not the right place, but it was something special and now I’m a little mopey.
Right now our plans to continue the search are half-hearted. We’ve re-channeled our efforts —> these cookies and The Office and naps. Really healthy habits we have going on over here.
Okay, but on the other hand, this 30 Minute Healthy Broccoli Cheese Rice IS kind of healthy, and it will make you so glad that you didn’t pack yourself pretzels for lunch again. It’s meatless – weee! – and it’s full of good stuff like protein and fiber and vegetables and cheese, just like any good meatless dish should be. There is almond meal in the base of the sauce instead of flour. Seeerious. Be proud of me – I never do stuff like that. And then buckle up because there are crushed almonds on top to crunchify it all together. So good. Bjork loved it, I loved it, and the long-gone studio would have loved it in some other life. Le sigh.
Pass the ricey.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used a brown rice blend from Costco - love it)
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons almond meal
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup broth as needed
- 1 14-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
- crushed almonds for topping
- sliced green onions for topping
- Cook the rice according to package directions. Bring a small pot of water to boil (enough to cover the broccoli). Add the broccoli, cook for 1 minute or until the broccoli turns bright green, and remove from heat immediately. Drain and transfer to a bowl of very cold water. This keeps the broccoli bright green and pretty.
- In a deep pot, melt the butter. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the almond meal and salt and cook for 2-3 minutes (it will be thick and clumpy). Add the milk a little bit at a time, whisking after each addition to smooth out the sauce and letting the mixture simmer until thickened slightly. Add half of the cheese and stir until melted.
- Chop the cooked broccoli into fine bits, leaving a few larger florets (just for a more interesting texture). Stir the broccoli, cooked rice, white beans, and any additional broth or milk as needed until the mixture is well combined. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and cover the pan until the cheese is melted. Top with almonds and green onions and season with more salt and pepper.