Rice for breakfast? While I’d love to confess that the dish pictured here was a huge hit with the rice fiend in our family (youngest son), the fact is that he’s not that adventurous and didn’t even try it. Honestly, I didn’t care, because it was so good and it meant that there was more for my husband and me!
The recipe, Breakfast Brown Rice with Blueberries and Almonds comes from Not Your Mother’s Casseroles by Faith Durand (helpful short review found here). I got this fresh take on the world of casseroles (and other one-dish recipes) as a birthday gift from my oldest, dearest friend who had picked up on my love of one-pot cooking.
This dish was super easy to put together, fit our new requirement for gluten-free fare, and was absolutely delicious as well as chock full of healthy ingredients. It did require a bit of planning as it takes about an hour to bake, but that really wasn’t problematic. I’m a bit of a dyed-in-wool oatmeal fan, loving my bowl sprinkled with dried cherries and suchlike, but I’d choose this dish over my usual oatmeal any day.
Breakfast Brown Rice with Blueberries and Almonds, from Not Your Mother’s Casseroles
1 cup short-grain brown rice
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of one orange
2 cups water
1 cup milk
1/4 brown sugar [actually, we found this dish sweeter than it needed to be, and would recommend halving the sugar or replacing it with just a tablespoon or two of maple syrup or another natural sweetener]
Pinch of cinnamon [my only addition]
Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease the baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Stir together the rice, blueberries, almonds, salt and orange zest in a medium-size bowl. Spread the rice mixture evenly in the pan.
Step 2 – Bring the water, milk and butter to a boil in the microwave or on the stove. Immediately pour over the rice. Cover the dish tightly with a lid or a double layer of foil and bake for one hour.
Step 3 – Remove the dish from the oven and uncover carefully. It will be hot, with plenty of steam under the foil. Fluff the rice with a fork, stir in the sugar [or syrup], and let it sit for five minutes before serving.
Variations: Try dried currants or dried cranberries instead of the blueberries, and lemon zest instead of the orange. Hazelnuts and dried figs are a very good combination, too. [I’d also recommend dried cherries and golden raisins, and I did add a pinch of cinnamon.]
I’d love to know if you have a favourite breakfast dish that’s a bit out of the ordinary!