Ham & Brown Rice Casserole

We intended to smoke a ham and 2 turkeys for Thanksgiving this year.  Unfortunately, the turkeys took up the entire smoker, so we cooked the ham in the oven (it was already smoked, actually, so we may have done ourselves a favor by heating it indoors). Siiiince we only hosted a party of 7, we had a few leftovers.  I was tearing out recipes from old magazines and figured this would put some of those leftovers to good use.  This casserole (their title, not mine) was in All You on September 19, 2014. I’d call it a rice bowl instead of a casserole.

Prep: 5 min  Cook: 20 min  Serves: 6  Cost per serving: $1.48

Ingredients

14 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked ham
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups frozen peas

Preparation

1. In a skillet, combine broth, ham and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in rice and season with pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Stir in peas and cook until rice is tender and peas are hot, about 7 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Simple, and only 212 calories a serving, so a perfect lunch or dinner entree for Client.  I have a cute little rice cooker, so I buy bulk bags of brown rice at Costco and make it in batches (you can throw in vegetables near the end of the cooking time, or make your veggies separately and mix it together at the end).  When I use the rice cooker, I don’t usually use broth, so you could swap out the ham for more veggies or meatless crumbles and make this a vegetarian dish.

I had some leftover brown rice from a recent turkey gumbo, so I repurposed it for this recipe.  Since Client isn’t a big fan of peas, I used fresh green beans and tossed them in with the rice (in the rice cooker) with about 12 minutes left on the timer. Really, you could use any mixed vegetables here.  1 cup each of peas and carrots would add a little more color, or a California blend would switch it up a little.

20151217_064619

Verdict:  Great!  Quick and easy.  The ham gave it a smoky and salty flavor, and I loved the chewiness of the rice against the crispy green beans.  Again, any veggies would be great in here–I’m thinking broccoli, crunchy radishes, carrots…the possibilities are endless. This was a perfect lunch a couple of days last week.  Definitely will make this again.

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