Cheesy Broccoli Kale Casserole (Vegetarian & Gluten Free)

Cheesy broccoli is one of those favorite foods from childhood; that, as delicious as it is, may not offer the best nutrition. Even cheesy broccoli available in the freezer aisle of your local grocery store more often than not has added sugar and msg. With that in mind, I whipped up this cheesy broccoli casserole that has kale and whole grains to bump up the nutritional content, without sacrificing all that cheesy goodness.

2 medium to large heads of broccoli
1 bunch organic kale (or about 4 cups worth of the prepackaged kind)
1 onion
2 cups uncooked brown or wild rice
8 oz cheese (I used cheddar, but any cheese could work)
1 cup organic skim milk (swap lactose-free or soy/almond/rice milks for those with dietary restrictions)
1.5 tbsp organic butter or extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Grate the cheese and set aside
-Cook rice in a rice cooker (or on the stove top if you don't have a rice cooker)
-Chop the onion, kale, and broccoli into bite size pieces and saute in half the butter/oil
-Add in remaining butter and flour, combine into a roux
-Add the milk and continue to stir in with the vegetables
-In a large mixing bowl, combine the sauteed vegetables, rice, cheese (minus a few tablespoons), and greek yogurt
-Stir and place in an oven safe dish
-Sprinkle with remaining cheese and salt/pepper
-Place in the oven to bake until cheese is gooey and melted (about 5-10 minutes)

Serve and enjoy! Nutrition info below...

The finished product, so delicious!
Approximate Nutritional Information (1 slice out of 12 total slices)
Calories: 273
Carbohydrates: 37 grams
Fat: 8.6 grams (of which, 4.9 are saturated)
Protein: 12.4 grams
Fiber: 5.6 grams

Also, to bump up the protein content, you could swap the rice for quinoa or even add in cooked chicken or turkey. Or, for those of you with dietary restrictions, feel free to swap out ingredients. Vegans can swap the cheese,milk, and yogurt for vegan options, usually available at places like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. Make it your own, and enjoy!

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