One of my "things" is that, in times of financial crunch, i splurge on food.. I rationalize that its food - its necessary and that it is not at all irresponsible to bring out the plastic for it...

this past month, i've been on a mission to not use the plastic - at all...
a week from now, this would be easy - the CSA distributions begin on Thursday and i expect to have more food than i know what to do with - but tonight was a challenge...

it was shaping up to be another night of angel hair with butter and garlic (nothing wrong with it - quick, cheap and yummy) but then i saw the gruyere sitting in my fridge, clearly thinking about sprouting some mold... $6 or so worth of mold... and in this financial crunch (i am nothing if not overdramatic) week, there was NO WAY i was letting that go bad...

originally it was going to be some ghetto-style mac & cheese but then i looked at the gemellis and their 12 - 15 minute cooking time and it seemed like too much... and then i saw the rice.

because if 12 - 15 minutes cooking time for gemelli is too long, its a much better idea to pick the rice, which takes 20 mins...

and then cheesy rice bake was born...


I was fully prepared for a 100% failure - but i wrote down the ingredients as i went along, just in case... lucky for me, this was an experiment gone right - i honestly wouldnt change a thing...

Cheesy Rice Bake

courtesy of me

2 c water
1 vegan vegetable bouillion
1 tbsp butter
1 c rice

3/8 c gruyere, cut into 1 cm x 1 cm cubes (or smaller)
2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tsp ground flaxseed

For topping:
2 tbsp panko
2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tsp nutritional yeast
fresh ground pepper

Bring water, bouillion and butter to a boil
Add rice, return to boil and then immediately lower heat to super-low and simmer, covered, for ~ 18 minutes.

In the meantime turn oven onto 500° or broil.
Mix panko, 2 tbsp parmigiano-reggiano and nutritional yeast in a small bowl and set aside.

Return to rice:
Once most of the water has been absorbed, add gruyere, 2 tbsp parmigiano-reggiano and ground flaxseed. stir until cheese appears to be melted and is no longer distinguishable.

split rice & cheese mixture between 2 ramekins. Top each with 1/2 of the topping mixture and then pepper, if desired.
place in the oven (on a baking sheet) for ~ 5 - 6 minutes.

Serve hot.

*mom notes: you could probably leave out the flaxseed and nutritional yeast, if you want (or like my mom, have NO idea what those things are or where you would get them or why you would buy them...) you could also use another cheese... emmenthaler or fontina, or even a basic swiss would be similar. cheddar would be different, but most likely, still really good. You could also use any shredded italian-type cheese for the parmigiano-reggiano - i know i grew up with a lot of Pecorino Romano instead and i'm sure it would work just fine...

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