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.
- 2 T. olive oil
- ½ large onion, minced
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 package frozen spinach, thawed, drained and chopped
- ½ 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
- ¼ tsp. dried thyme leaves
- ¼ tsp. dried basil leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oz cooked bacon, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 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.
- In a large bowl, whisk together whipping cream, water and eggs.
- Add the cheese, rice, parsley, thyme, basil and eggs to the spinach mixture and combine well. Season with salt and pepper.
- 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.