Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup cauliflower rice
16 ounces broccoli florets, either pre-packaged or sliced from 2 large bunches of broccoli
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt
10 twists of freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, omit if sensitive to spice
8 ounces (about 2 ½ cups) freshly grated cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup low-fat milk (cow’s milk tastes best but unsweetened plain almond milk works, too)
½ tablespoon butter or 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
To cook the cauliflower rice: Bring the vegetable broth or water to boil in a heavy-bottomed, medium-sized pot. Add the rice, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 17 to 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Cover and set aside to steam for 10 minutes.
To roast the broccoli: Slice any large broccoli florets in half to make bite-sized pieces. Transfer the broccoli to your prepared baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, until lightly coated on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and arrange in a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the broccoli is tender and starting to caramelize on the edges.
Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to the pot of rice, and stir to combine. Set aside ¾ cup of the cheese for later, then add the rest of the cheese to the pot. Pour in the milk and stir until the cheese and milk are evenly incorporated in the rice.
Pour the cheesy rice into a 9-inch square baking dish and top with the roasted broccoli. Stir until the broccoli is evenly mixed in with the rice. Sprinkle the surface of the casserole with the parmesan cheese.
Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and crispy on edges. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.