Nov 26
2012

Savory Rice & Cheese Cake Recipe with Spinach & Roasted Red Peppers {Vegetarian}

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This vegetarian savory rice & cheese cake recipe is a great option for Meatless Monday. It’s loaded with spinach, roasted red peppers and gooey mozzarella cheese.
Savory Rice & Cheese Cake Recipe with Spinach & Roasted Red Peppers by @CookinCanuck

I’ve discovered that winter running pants are not terribly forgiving. It appears that mixing spandex with holiday eating is a very misled notion. It’s kind of like drinking while dating. It sounds like a good idea at the time, but it never ends well. That’s one of the benefits of running at 5:30 in the morning. It’s so dark that no one can witness my spandex offenses.

After a holiday weekend of some serious eating, I’m feeling the need to consume nothing but salads and light soups for the rest of my life. Well, at least for the next week. Let’s not get crazy here. And it’s mandatory that I review my tried and true Healthy Eating Tips & Tricks for the Holidays to keep my jeans happy.

This vegetarian entree is high in fiber (filling!) from brown rice and rich in flavor from roasted red peppers, balsamic vinegar and spinach. Diced pieces of fresh mozzarella produce pockets of gooey, melted goodness. The beauty of this dish is that you can make the brown rice ahead of time, then mix it with the other ingredients before pouring the mixture into a springform pan.

Cookie alert! If you’re ready to dive into some holiday baking, be sure to check out the beautiful Holiday Cookie Cravings e-book produced by my friends, Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod and Heidi of Foodiecrush. Today only they are holding a CyberMonday special, and selling their e-book for only 99 cents!

The recipe:

In a medium saucepan, combine brown rice, water and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook according to package directions. Fluff with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare an 8-inch springform pan by coating it with cooking spray and sprinkling the cornmeal on the bottom and along the sides.

Savory Rice & Cheese Cake Recipe with Spinach & Roasted Red Peppers by @CookinCanuck

Rinse the spinach leaves under water and put the wet leaves in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Cover and let the spinach leaves wilt, about 2 minutes. Drain, but don’t squeeze out the extra water.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the wilted spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Savory Rice & Cheese Cake Recipe with Spinach & Roasted Red Peppers by @CookinCanuck

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Add the rice to the onions. Stir in the roasted red peppers, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and parsley, along with the spinach and egg mixture.

Transfer the rice mixture to the prepared pan and level the top with a spatula.

Savory Rice & Cheese Cake Recipe with Spinach & Roasted Red Peppers by @CookinCanuck

Bake until the “cake” is set and golden brown on top, 35 to 40 minutes. Let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes.

Invert the pan onto a large plate and carefully remove springform pan ring and bottom. Cut into wedges and serve.

Other entrees for Meatless Monday:

Meatless Monday Recipes
Cookin’ Canuck’s Southwestern Breakfast Quesadilla with Eggs, Black Beans & Salsa
Cookin’ Canuck’s Quinoa Salad with Apple, Chickpeas, Toasted Almonds & Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Cookin’ Canuck’s Healthy Mushroom, Orzo & Swiss Chard Soup
Aggie’s Kitchen’s Two-Bean Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna
A Thought for Food’s Vegetarian Meatball Parm Sub
Kalyn’s Kitchen’s Vegan Farro & Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Tahini-Sumac Vinaigrette

Rice & Cheese Cake Recipe with Spinach & Roasted Red Peppers

Rice & Cheese Cake Recipe with Spinach & Roasted Red Peppers

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, stems removed
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 roasted red peppers (4 halves), chopped
  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced Italian parsley

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine brown rice, water and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook according to package directions. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare an 8-inch springform pan by coating it with cooking spray and sprinkling the cornmeal on the bottom and along the sides.
  3. Rinse the spinach leaves under water and put the wet leaves in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Cover and let the spinach leaves wilt, about 2 minutes. Drain, but don't squeeze out the extra water.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the wilted spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Add the rice to the onions. Stir in the roasted red peppers, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and parsley, along with the spinach and egg mixture.
  7. Transfer the rice mixture to the prepared pan and level the top with a spatula.
  8. Bake until the "cake" is set and golden brown on top, 35 to 40 minutes. Let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the pan onto a large plate and carefully remove springform pan ring and bottom.
  9. Cut into wedges and serve.

Notes

Inspired by Al Forno by Maxine Clark

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robyn | Add a Pinch November 26, 2012 at 6:51 am

This looks gorgeous, Dara, and oh so delicious!

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2 Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) November 26, 2012 at 6:59 am

Such a fun recipe!! This looks delicious =) I bet it would be great in the summer with tomato and fresh basil!

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3 Bev @ Bev Cooks November 26, 2012 at 7:10 am

This is genius. But you forgot one ingredient – Bev’s Face.

(that made no sense, sorry)

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4 kelley November 26, 2012 at 7:18 am

Love the savory play on cake. This looks like light comfort food at it’s finest. I love all the healthy recipes you’ve been throwing our way. Makes up for the fact that I’ve been eating so many treats as of late!

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5 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective November 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

Oh Dara, That is just lovely. What a wonderful addition to a holiday meal!

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6 Barbara @ Barbara Bakes November 26, 2012 at 9:32 am

What a great way to eat healthy!

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7 Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

I love a healthy and delicious vegetarian meal, and I can never say no to anything with roasted red peppers!

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8 Courtney Rae Jones November 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

Yum! Awesome vegetarian main dish :)

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9 Dara November 26, 2012 at 11:23 am

This looks like the perfect mix of healthy and comfort food! Oh, and I totally know what you mean about the spandex running pants…I took a look at myself post run yesterday…I too am glad I run at 6am!

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10 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. November 26, 2012 at 11:43 am

This looks wonderful Dara! Very creative!

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11 Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings November 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

That looks absolutely delicious!

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12 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet November 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm

This dish sounds fabulous! All the flavors – yum!

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13 Barbara | Creative Culinary November 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm

I don’t suppose it’s a good thing I hang out in men’s PG pants is it. Baggy and forgiving they are for sure.

I love this combination; I’ve got some mozzarella whose time has come and this would be a great way to go!

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14 Cassie | Bake Your Day November 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I am so ready for a meal like this after all of the eating that happened this weekend. It’s so unique and right up my alley!

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15 carrian November 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm

ooey and gooey are two of my favorite words. MMMM

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16 Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen November 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm

oooh this looks like a good dinner! And lunch the next day :)

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17 Holly November 26, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Your food looks beautiful as always but I am left with a smile thinking of how true your statement is about spandex and holiday eating– they don’t mix! Maybe I should take the advice to exercise at daybreak. : )

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18 Diane November 26, 2012 at 7:47 pm

When do you add the egg and spinach?

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19 Lola November 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm

This looks incredibly tasty, my stomach is rumbling just by looking at the pictures! x

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20 Helen November 27, 2012 at 12:42 am

Excuse me for being dense, but what happened to the eggs. I’ve re-read the recipe in case I missed the part where they get added somewhere. ..
Help!

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21 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 27, 2012 at 7:02 am

Helen, you’re not dense at all! Thanks for catching that omission. The egg/spinach mixture should be added to the rice at the same time as the roasted red peppers, etc. The recipe has been updated. Please note that I also updated the amount of salt required for the recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

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22 Lisa November 27, 2012 at 12:46 am

Due to my T-Day date ‘gaff’ our meal was mostly catered, but it was still a nice day and good eats. This rice and cheese cake looks delicious – you never cease to amaze me with your creativity and talent. This is going to be very popular on my meatless pin board! Finally, thank you for your kind words about the storm. Still doing as much as we xan to help..but it’ll be a long time before things get back to normal.

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23 Tina | My Life as a Mrs November 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm

looks delicious!!!!! :) Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, lady! xox

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24 Kare @ Kitchen Treaty November 28, 2012 at 6:26 am

Oh, I love this. Especially the pockets-of-mozzarella part. And the red and green make it particularly perfect for the holidays. Love!

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25 Jayne November 30, 2012 at 2:25 am

This looks so good! I’ve always loved baked rice, risotto and all that but this looks really really good.

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26 Marie December 10, 2012 at 7:16 am

This sounds delicious…and health too!

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27 Marie December 11, 2012 at 11:09 am

Hi. I made this last night, and is it ever delicious…and healthy too, as I meant to say in my original post! And I agree with Kare @ Kitchen Treaty , it looks very festive.

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28 carmen December 11, 2012 at 8:31 pm

This got rave reviews at a potluck today! It was delish…

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29 kristin October 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

I would love to make this for dinner but dinner is only for two people…do you think the leftovers would freeze well?

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30 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Kristin, I honestly don’t know. I’ve never had great success with freezing rice, and would probably be inclined to finish up the leftovers the following day. I hope you enjoy it!

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31 Beth October 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm

I’m making is tonight and am excited. In the list of ingredients you have cornmeal and balsamic vinegar. But in directions it doesn’t tell you what to with them. Help, please

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32 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) October 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Hi Beth, the cornmeal is in the second step of the instructions. The balsamic vinegar should be mixed in with the eggs. I’m sorry about that omission. I hope you enjoy it!

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33 Beth October 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I reread and found the cornmeal and guessed the balsamic with eggs, but thanks for confirming! We had tonight and it was fantastic. Will definitely be made again. Thanks for a great recipe, and a great blog!

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