Happy Friday to you all! I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me. Tomorrow little tummy and I are participating in our first ever benefit walk called Walk MS, Colorado-Wyoming to support papa tummy’s step-sister who has been battling MS for quite some time. She wasn’t diagnosed until a few years ago after experiencing minor paralysis of her face, but I am happy to report that she is doing better now with the help of her doctors and the support of her family and friends. If you would like to read a little bit about her story and what MS is you can visit this page. This walk helps fund the National Multiple Sclerosis Society so that they are able to do more research on this disease. The problem is they have no idea what causes MS or how to specifically treat it because there are too many symptoms that don’t quite connect.
My sister-in-law was able to relieve her symptoms through a change in diet. Her and her doctors were able to decipher what foods were triggering her body’s negative reactions. She ended up needing to cut out a lot from her diet. Due to her specific needs she adopted the Paleo diet while avoiding certain foods that are bad news for her system. She is the main reason I say everyone is different and one diet does not fit all.
What my sister-in-law has discovered is what a lot of us have begun to realize; cutting out the crap and eating clean healthy foods will make you feel better and can even heal you. I would love to say she can eat the following recipe, but she can’t. I still wanted to dedicate this to her because it is free of both gluten and soy, two major no-no’s for her.
This casserole is super easy to throw together and doesn’t require you staying in the kitchen all night. Most of the cooking time is in the oven to give you more time to spend with family or whatever you wish. Casseroles are a wonderful comfort food so going in to this weekend I wish you all the comfort that clean healthy food can give you. I hope you enjoy!
Baby Squash Rice Casserole with Chickpeas
vegan, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free
Serves 6 to 8
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for pan
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice, rinsed
- 1 pound assorted baby squash, trimmed and chopped (any summer squash will work)
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas or 1- 15 oz can, drained and rinsed
- 28 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed between your fingers
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed between your fingers
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a deep 9 by 13 casserole dish with oil.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and saute onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute.
- Pour broth into the saucepan and stir in the rice. Bring to a rolling boil then remove from heat.
- Combine all other ingredients in the casserole dish, then stir in the rice mixture. Make sure the rice is covered by the broth so push it down if necessary.
- Cover the casserole dish with a lid or foil and bake for 80 to 90 minutes, stir halfway through cooking time.
- Let cool before serving and enjoy!