I’ve always been kind of a weird ~vegetarian. I don’t eat meat but I’m not overly picky about it – I still knowingly eat things (marshmallows, Jell-O) that contain animal-derived gelatin. And it doesn’t really bother me when other people prepare and eat meat around me, I just don’t want to eat it myself. But eating a fish with its head still attached doesn’t really phase me. Huh.
And I’m not overly fond of most vegetables, to be honest. I basically don’t eat raw veggies, other than romaine lettuce (NOT spring mix or Boston – bleh!) coated in dressing with croutons. Or really nice fresh tomatoes with olive oil… preferably while in Italy.
When I was little, to get me to eat vegetables, my mom always melted cheddar cheese on top of them. It is a scientific fact that you can instantly make anything taste good by melting cheddar cheese on it. That is how I save failed cooking experiments.
To this day, I still kind of prefer “stealth veggies.” You know, vegetables hiding in other foods. This dish totally falls into that category. There are 2 whole zucchinis in the rice, but you don’t really notice them. Not that there’s anything wrong with zucchini, but I find that most veggies taste best to me when I put more effort into them – roasting them instead of steaming, for instance. This is an easy and quick way to add vegetables to a meal without spending time on them, as the raw zucchini is just grated into the finished dish and cooks from the heat of the rice.
This is an easy 2-in-1 side dish, because it covers your veggies and your grains. I served the rice with some baked sole fillets, but it’s a pretty neutral dish that would pair well with whatever main you’re planning.
Cheesy Zucchini Rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup basmati rice (or long grain white rice)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 medium zucchinis, grated
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup milk
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add green onions and garlic and sauté until onion is transparent.
- Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Let cook until the rice is lightly golden brown, then add the broth, reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 15-20 minutes, until rice is cooked.
- Remove from heat and stir in grated zucchini, cheese, butter, and milk. Season with salt and pepper.