Spinach and Rice Casserole {lower carb}


After the success I had a few weeks ago with making a broccoli rice cheese casserole substituting most of the rice for cauliflower rice, I decided to find additional casserole recipes to make “healthier” by adding cauliflower rice. There are probably not surprisingly a ton of options out there. I decided to try to go with one that snuck some spinach into the mix and found the perfect looking recipe at Food Network. My adaptation is below.

ingredients.

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 c. whipping cream + 1/2 c. water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. shredded cheese, plus extra for top (I used Monterrey Jack and Colby Jack)
  • 2 c. cooked rice (I used a mixture of wild and brown)
  • 1 16 oz. package Cauliflower rice, pan fried until browned and shrunk down
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz. cooked bacon, crumbled

directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large non-stick pan over medium-low heat, saute onions with olive oil and cayenne until translucent. Add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together whipping cream, water and eggs.
  4. Add the cheese, rice, parsley, thyme, basil and eggs to the spinach mixture and combine well. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Top with extra shredded cheese and bits of bacon. Bake for 30 minutes; serve hot.

I tried to make this recipe more friendly to the high fat, low carb folks by substituting milk for whipping cream. There’s still a substantial amount of rice in here though, which is why I describe it as “lower” carb instead of low-carb. That being said, the overall nutritional analysis shows that one serving gives a moderate amount of carbs.

I estimate this casserole yields 10 servings at approximately 330 calories, 24 g fat, 12 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar and 17 g protein per serving.

While I wanted to love this casserole, I didn’t. It’s good. It’s solid. I’ll eat it instead of throwing it away (like I have with some dishes I haven’t liked) but I’m not sure I would make it again. I should tell you though that I don’t love spinach. Which is probably the problem! If you love or even like spinach, you should give this recipe a whirl.

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