Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cheesy Summer Garden Rice

Cheesy goodness... oh, and a few vegetables

Well, don’t make this if you’re looking for a ‘lite’ vegetarian dinner. And don’t make this if you’re looking for a low calorie side dish. And don’t make this if you’re looking for a way to ‘eat those vegetables.’

Do make this if you’re looking for a great ‘old-school’ recipe. Do make this if you can afford to throw calories to the wind. Do make this if you’re looking for awesome delicious-ness. Really.

This excellent casserole is based on a recipe from one of my all-time favorite cook books – “Clock Wise Cuisine” from the Junior League of Detroit, copyright 1986. Yes, I know, 1986. Think 9 X 13 casseroles laden with canned soup, cheese and sour cream. Think calories. Think pot-luck-suppers. Think fantastic.

So this was the first time I made this lovely thing and obviously we all loved it. Originally it was called ‘Monterey Zucchini Casserole’ which is a pretty lame title if you ask me. (All respect to the Junior League ladies of Detroit circa 1986.) So we’ve been having some fun coming up with new and updated titles.

April in the D Rice (That’s for my Detroit friends…. We were watching the Tigers lose to the Oakland A’s today. Once that April in the D song gets into my head I CAN NOT stop singing it!)

Lloyds Bayou Rice (that’s where we live)

Kick Ass Rice (getting closer)

Wanna gain weight? Rice (probably the most honest name….check out the list of ingredients)

Exciting ingredients

Here’s what you need:
1 C uncooked rice
1 4 oz can of diced green chilis
1 lb Monterey Jack cheese (or other cheese to taste)
3 medium zucchini, sliced and parboiled
3 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
2 C sour cream (I always use low-fat)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
¼ C diced green onion
¼ C diced green pepper

Use any old casserole dish you have handy - my 9 X 13 is in the freezer

Here’s what you do:
1.      Cook the rice.
2.      Slice and parboil the zucchini. (I would never normally parboil a vegetable, but it seemed to work here very well…. Gets rid of some of the extra moisture)
3.      Peel and slice the tomatoes. (I would never normally peel a tomato, but it seemed to work well here….)
4.      Mix the sour cream, green onions, green peppers, oregano and garlic salt.
5.      Grate a huge amount of cheese. I used 8 ounces Monterey Jack and 6 ounces of Irish Harp Cheddar.
6.      Layer in a 9 X 13 (or whatever) in this order…
a.      Rice
b.      Green chilis
c.       ½ cheese
d.      Zucchini and tomatoes (consider chopping them instead of slicing. They will mix in better)
e.      Sour cream
f.        Remaining cheese

layers of cheesy goodness - oh, and a few vegetables too

7.      Bake 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Broil if desired to get this lovely top.
8.      Devour. 


  1. Wow...this looks SO good! I can't eat bell pepper, but could sub in something else...maybe some sliced mushrooms. What a great way to get more veggies!!

  2. Bookmarked! This looks fantastic!!


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