Easy Vegan Wild Rice Casserole | Oil Free
We’re back with another easy and tasty healthy holiday recipe. The holidays can be tough for those of us on a health journey; there’s an abundance of calorie-dense food and everyone else is eating it like crazy, which makes it so much easier to get off track. Then, January rolls around and you feel awful and have to will yourself into getting back on the “Wellness Wagon”.
It’s much easier and kinder to your body to just stick to your healthy lifestyle during the holidays. The trick is to make delicious whole plant foods with seasonal ingredients. That way, your meals still feel like a special treat but remain totally compliant to your plan of eating and you can roll into January already feeling your best.
Today we’re going to share our Rooty Rice Bake recipe that you can make and take to your next holiday gathering. Everyone will love it and you’ll feel so full and satisfied from all the healthy starches it contains. Even though you'll be completely full, this dish won’t make you feel stuffed and gross like so many other holiday dishes. That way you'll be able to stay focused on having fun with friends and family. Isn’t that what the holidays are really meant to be about anyway?
We love one-pot meals, especially starchy ones. If you’ve been following us for any length of time, you’ve heard Dillon mention his famous Starch Blaster on more than one occasion. It’s just a big ole’ pot of starchy goodness you make in large batches to grab a hearty bowlful of whenever hunger strikes. Rooty Rice Bake is along those same lines except for baking it in a large pyrex dish rather than an InstantPot.
There is a fair amount of chopping involved but don’t let that stop you. “Chop once, eat for days” is the way to think about it. Grab the largest mixing bowl you’ve got and let’s get started by chopping all our ingredients into similar-sized chunks. We’re going to chop and combine carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, onions, celery, apple, and tempeh (for a little extra protein). It’s up to you whether or not you want to peel the carrots and parsnips.
Some people think there’s more vitamins and minerals in the peels but truthfully, if you’re eating a whole food plant-based diet you’re getting plenty of nutrients, so if you prefer the aesthetics of peeled veggies for presentation purposes, then peel away! We really don’t care, so if we hadn’t been making a video, we would’ve left the peels on.
Cutting up a butternut squash may seem a tad daunting if you haven’t done it before. It’s such an oddly shaped vegetable; where do you even start? We simply cut the bulbous end from the longer end, use a sharp knife to cut the peel off, slice them in half, and scoop the seeds out of the bulbous portion. Dillon is always looking for an opportunity to use his melon baller (except for actually balling melons haha), so that’s the tool he recommends using to scoop the seeds but a spoon works fine too. And don’t throw those seeds away! Wash them off, sprinkle on your favorite spices and toast them in the oven for a crunchy treat.
Next, we’ll throw a couple of cups of uncooked wild rice into the mix, stir everything together, then prepare our baking liquid. Combine onion powder, garlic powder, dried rosemary, sage, thyme, smoked paprika, white pepper (black would work fine too, or leave it out altogether if you prefer), and a few tablespoons of tahini.
We’re going to add a total of about 5 cups of vegetable broth to the dish. Our suggestion is to use about half a cup of it to mix with the tahini and spices before adding to the veggie blend; this will help combine all the flavors and evenly distribute them throughout the entire dish. We want every bite to be coated in autumn-flavored deliciousness!
Pour all the liquid and spices into the bowl of chopped ingredients and stir them together, making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Pour everything into your largest baking dish and cover the dish with aluminum foil. If you feel weird about aluminum touching your food, just place a piece of parchment paper between the foil and your food.
Bake the dish at 350º for 45 minutes, pull it out of the oven, give everything a stir, then pop it back in the oven for another 45 minutes. The rice and veggies will soak up almost all of the liquid by the time it’s done baking. Stirring halfway through is important to ensure all the rice gets cooked.
Dillon’s mom, Michele stopped by just as we were wrapping up filming the video. She made a guest appearance at the end of the video so be sure to watch until the end to see her reaction. You’ll quickly come to understand where Dillon picked up his habit of constantly burning his mouth with too-hot bites of food. That’s all I can say… you’ll have to watch the video for the rest!