I just turned 30 on Sunday and thought to myself “what a great time to start blogging again.” Turning 30 was overall uneventful, besides the minor 1/3 life crises that I had. I won’t bore you with those details, but I will tell you about my 3 week cleanse that I started on my birthday.
I’ve decided 30 is a year for self reflection and inner peace. Therefore, I’m starting with a basic anti-inflammatory cleanse for 3 weeks. These typically mean, no dairy, gluten, alcohol, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers and eggplants) and citrus. I think those are the big ones but I could have missed something. This is absolutely hard because my diet mainly consists of bread, pasta and cheese. Further, it’s the beginning of tomato season here, which I look forward to all year. But I’m pretty convinced I’m allergic to all nightshades so it’s very important to do this.
I ran into this recipe a few weeks ago. The original calls for tomatoes but I figure I can substitute mushrooms and still be happy. Of course I also had to leave out the cheese. I was pretty happy with the overall recipe and it turned out quite flavorful.
Zucchini Rice Gratin
Adapted from Gourmet, March 2008
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 1/3 cup long-grain white rice
- 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- olive oil
- 10-15 large crimini mushrooms, sliced thick
- 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Splash of white wine
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
Cook rice according to package instructions. I like to cook my rice with chicken broth instead of water to give it more flavor.
While rice cooks, toss zucchini with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper in a shallow baking pan. Toss mushrooms with 1/2 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper in another baking pan.
Roast zucchini in upper third of oven and mushrooms in lower third, turning vegetables once halfway through roasting, until tender and light golden, about 10 minutes for mushrooms; 20 minutes for zucchini. Leave oven on.
Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt in 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes until the wine is reduced slightly.
Stir together onion mixture, cooked rice, eggs, thyme and additional salt and pepper if needed. Spread half of rice mixture in a shallow 2-quart baking dish, then top with half of zucchini and mushrooms. Spread remaining rice mixture over zucchini/mushrooms, then top with remaining zucchini and mushrooms.
Bake in upper third of oven until set and golden brown, about 20 minutes.