Vegetarian Dinner-in-a-Dish Recipe

By Suzanne Havala

Garlic, onions, green bell peppers, cashews, and nutmeg are a delicious complement to the spinach and rice in this dish. This savory dish is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol because you are using reduced-fat and nonfat dairy products and egg whites instead of whole eggs.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/wsmahar]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/wsmahar

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

1 cup uncooked brown rice

Two 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

4 egg whites, slightly beaten

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1-1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup chopped cashews

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the rice in a large saucepan according to package instructions. Set aside.

  2. Heat the spinach on the stovetop or in a microwave oven until thawed and warmed, about 7 minutes. Drain well and squeeze the excess liquid out of the spinach. Set aside.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Cook the onion, green bell pepper, and garlic in the oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add to the cooked rice.

  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the egg whites, yogurt, nutmeg, and spinach. Stir until well mixed.

  5. Spread half the rice mixture in a lightly oiled 1-1/2-quart casserole. Cover with half the spinach mixture.

  6. Top with half the cheese. Repeat the rice and spinach layers (but don’t add the remaining cheese yet).

  7. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and the cashews.

  8. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes to crisp the top.

Per serving: Calories 360 (From Fat 126); Fat 14g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 11mg; Sodium 294mg; Carbohydrate 39g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 20g.