Crash Test Vegetarian

Vegan to Omnivore outreach program

Tofu Rice Casserole

on January 11, 2012

First, let me tell you that as an omnivore, I was never really a fan of the standard chicken and rice casseroles.  They just always seemed to lack any kind of depth and just tasted like… well, cream of mushroom soup. 

However, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll notice a common theme – I love one pot meals.  I just do, and I always will.   As this recipe stands, it’s not a one pot meal, exactly – still need some veggies to go with it, but next time I make it I will probably add broccoli and cauliflower and make it a one pot meal.  We shall see!

This won my omnivore husband over, even though we were both extremely skeptical.  He had seconds and was eager to take leftovers to work – which, as it turns out, reheat well.

Um, about the picture… have you ever known a casserole that looked good? 

Oh, and by the way.  Don’t skip the curry powder.  And don’t give me any of that “I just don’t like curry” bull.  This isn’t a curry, the curry is just in there for a bit of flavor.    The original recipe had 1 cup of Nutritional Yeast in it, so you could add more if you wanted to.

Tofu Rice Casserole

One of the important things about this is to use extra firm or super firm tofu.  In retrospect, I might have marinaded the tofu maybe in some not-chicken broth or something along those lines, but it was still really great the way it was.

This is now a “favorite.”

Prepare 1 cup of rice however you do it.  White or brown will do the trick, I’m not giving a rice cooking lesson here, people – figure it out.  You should end up with about 3 cups cooked.

Meanwhile in a large pot or pan, saute – cook until onions are translucent or browned
1 large onion, chopped
8 to 16 ounces of mushrooms, sliced – depending on how much you love mushrooms
5 cloves garlic, minced

When cooked, add
1 Tbsp Earth Balance or other vegan margarine or oil
3-4 Tbsp flour

Whisk flour into melted butter until mixture becomes a paste.  If it’s too dry, add more butter or oil then whisk in
1 cup not-chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups non-dairy milk, (I used soy)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 package tofu, cubed – extra firm or super firm – pressed or vacuum packed
salt and pepper to taste 

Continue cooking on low heat until sauce thickens then add whatever vegetables you would like such as a bag of frozen cauliflower and broccoli (thawed, of course) or spinach.   I used fresh spinach in the picture above, but next time will be using broccoli and cauliflower combined.

Pour mixture into a greased (I “buttered” it) 9×13 baking dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes covered, and 10 minutes uncovered.

Without the tofu this would also make a great side dish.

1/15 update: Made this again using made-ahead brown rice, and 2 bags thawed broccoli with an additional 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup broth and just barely had enough to fit into the pan, but it fit and it was absolutely perfect. 

I will only be using broccoli from now on.

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13 responses to “Tofu Rice Casserole

  1. zenogre says:

    This dish looks quite tasty, I’m getting hungry while looking at it. I think maybe I’ll give it a try this weekend. Did you press your tofu first or just right out of the container? I suppose maybe pressing might be optimal so it soaks up some of the broth.

    • Izzy says:

      Whoops, thanks for asking! I always forget to mention this. I actually use VACUUM PACKED tofu, not water packed.

      http://www.amazon.com/Wildwood-Natural-Organic-Sprouted-Vacuum/dp/B0058NKR0C I HIGHLY recommend this stuff, no pressing required and it’s super firm, great for grilling or anything else… well, it’s not so good for ricotta, scrambled tofu or tofu salad sandwiches.

      • zenogre says:

        Ahh, that makes sense. Sadly, I don’t have access to that kind so I’ll give it a go with pressing a super firm water packed one. Thanks for the clarification, I’m looking forward to making it.

      • Izzy says:

        If you do, please be sure to let me know how you liked it!

      • zenogre says:

        I made this last night with brown rice, spinach, and pressed tofu. It was quite delicious. 😀 I’ve even got some leftovers with me at work now to enjoy at lunch. I probably should have tried marinating the tofu for at least a couple hours since my rice took so long but the extra time on the stove gave it a good flavor I think.

        Thanks so much for the recipe. I’ll come back and post an update if I try anything wild with it the next time.

      • Izzy says:

        Any thoughts on marinating? I was thinking of soy sauce, but I’m not 100% sure.

        Now that I think of it, isn’t it kinda funny to flavor soy with it’s own sauce? Hmm. Must go contemplate this.

  2. That really sounds delicious! My guys are casserole guys, so this is right up their alley. I’ve never seen vacuum packed tofu–can you get it at Whole Foods? Thanks for the recipe–I’m definitely bookmarking it!

    • Izzy says:

      So I got to wondering, cause I haven’t a clue wtf I’m going to do when I move somewhere that doesn’t have my local health food store. Cause here’s the dirt on the stuff, it’s about the density of chilled mozarella. Nice and firm. Not the texture of course, but about the density. It requires no pressing or water changes in the fridge – so to say it’s convenient is an understatement.

      On top of that, at my local store a 20 ounce container is $4.99 – so clearly more expensive than the typical 12-16 ounce containers, BUT there’s no loss of volume because there’s no pressing!

      Not to mention it gets nice and chewy and just wonderful. Anyway, I did look up their website and WF is listed as a retailer, so if they carry the brand, I bet they could order that particular product if they don’t carry it.

    • Izzy says:

      P.S. Let me know if you try it and if you have any other thoughts on improving it. I think it’s just the bee’s knees how it is, but there’s always room for improvement and I trust your opinion!

  3. Sam says:

    This dish was hubby and baby approved 😀 Me and the little one fought over the last bit as Izzy was serving it

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