Oh the glory of casseroles! I love them because they mean : less dishes to do, left-overs to eat (or freeze), and let’s not forget the fact that they are oh-so-low maintenance, which is vital when you’re busy, or hobbly, or both! This one is particularly fun because it calls for wine. Now, you can totally use that fond de bouteille (last of the bottle) that’s been hanging out in your fridge for an embarrassingly long time (promise, it’ll be ok), or you can seize the occasion to go buy some wine and just pour a little into your dinner! How fun!
Gratuitous Wine Shot
I know I’m spoiled because we can get quite fab wine for cheapo – like 3E a bottle, but if you’re not concerned about drinking the wine, just buy a cheapy bottle for cooking!
I tend to make hearty casseroles as my post-long run fuel because of their perfect protein/carb ratio, and because of how easy they are to prepare. After a long Sunday run I can throw everything (gently) into the roasting pan, and have time to shower, dress, stretch and rehydrate. Without rushing or much effort, I can have a warm, hearty meal for lunch. A crunchy, fresh green salad would be so perfect with this, too!
Granted, my long Sunday runs have been temporarily transformed into long Sunday sits, but that doesn’t negate the ease and practicality of the casserole!
Blurry Close Up…Must Be The Wine
This combo is one of my favourites for the autumn and winter months because it’s “earthy” (in a good way) and satisfying. And it has wine in it. I love wine. Don’t you? Have a little glass as you prepare your casserole…red is good for your health as well as your soul. It also has fonio, an African super-grain which is so good for you, and good for communities on the African continent who are trying to build up a sustainable economy (difficult to do after hundreds of years of colonization, when will we learn?). Some people are turned off by its strongish taste, which is why I don’t use much here. If you don’t have any fonio, or are reluctant to use it, just skip it or replace with bulgur or cracked spelt or whatever makes you smile!
Smashing Grain Casserole
*In an effort to make this accessible to Imperial and Metric users alike, I carefully noted the conversions in cups…and totally forgot to write down the Metric measures. Sorry guys.
Set your oven for 350F and put all of the following except the veg broth in a large roasting pan or casserole dish with a lid:
- 1 cup brown rice (dry)
- 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
- 1/4 cup fonio (or bulgur or just skip) – dry
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 red pepper, peeled & roasted
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 3/4 cup red wine
- approx. 2.5 cups veggie broth or bouillon & water (possibly more, it will depend on how much is absorbed)
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
- Salt & Pepper
Give it all a good stir and add about 1/2 cup of the veg broth. Put it in the oven for about 45 minutes or so. Take it out, stir, and add more broth. Basically, this will need to stay in the oven four about 90 minutes, so I just take it out & check it every half hour or so, it’s pretty forgiving. You just don’t want it to dry out too much.
Great add-ins are sautéed mushrooms or chopped tomatoes, anything goes, really!
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