Sometimes the side dish becomes the centerpiece of a meal...with this veggie-filled rice casserole, it's easy to understand how it happens!
8 cups water
1-1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 cup dry split peas
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, grated
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp each salt, pepper, dried thyme and dried oregano
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
In a large saucepan, bring water, rice and peas to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, celery, carrots and onion in oil until veggies are tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Combine the veggies, rice mixture, tomatoes and seasonings.
Transfer to a greased 2-1/2 qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.