This hearty dish is perfect all by itself or accompanied by a side salad or a nice bowl of soup.
You can really smell the fall air right now, which has inspired me to make a hearty main dish that is healthy yet comforting at the same time. This dish satisfies hunger due to the nutrient dense properties of wild rice and kale, and what’s really cool, is that it helps lower sugar cravings as well.
The great thing about this dish is that you can assemble it ahead of time and then bake it just before you are ready to serve. It may take longer if it was refrigerated.
This casserole pairs well with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, White Rioja, White Bordeaux, French Chablis, Pinot Noir, Red Rioja or Merlot.
- 1 Recipe Wild Rice
- 5 Cups Kale – chopped
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 White Onions – diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
- 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 3 Tablespoons Brown Rice Flour
- 1 Cups Milk (I used 1%)
- 1 Cups Half and Half (you can use all milk if you prefer)
- 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese – shredded
- 1 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme Leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt or to taste
- !/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 2 Heirloom Tomatoes – 7- 8 thick slices
- 1 Cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese – finely shredded
First make the wild rice. While the rice is cooking, wash the kale and tear off the main rib by holding the end of the stem and sliding off the leaves then chop in to thin strips. Set aside
In a sauté pan on medium heat, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook until the garlic just starts to become golden, then add the wine and reduce to a syrup.
Next, add the butter to the onions. Once the butter is melted, stir in the flour and continue to stir while cooking the mixture for about 2 minutes.
Add the milk/half and half while whisking constantly, bring the liquid to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the cheddar cheese a little at at time, add the spices, stir until the cheese is completely melted.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Add the kale and rice to the cheese sauce, mix well and pour into a 1 1/2 to 2 quarts casserole dish. (taste to make sure if there is enough salt)
Arrange the tomatoes slices on top, then top with with the parmesan or pecorino cheese.
Bake on the middle rack for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the juices are bubbling then place on the top rack and broil for 2 – 3 minutes to a nice golden color.
Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which helps detox the liver. It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma. Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol. It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.) More on kale
Wild rice is a good source of fiber there for it helps with digestion and to lower cholesterol. It is a complete protein, and has twice as much protein as brown rice. Wild rice contains all of the essential amino acids, but it’s a bit low in lysine. It is extremely high in antioxidants so regular consumption protects you from disease and ageing. A serving of wild rice is lower in calories than other any other rice and provides 15 percent of the recommended daily value of zinc. It has good sources of essential minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, folate, Vitamin B6, and niacin.