Friday, March 25, 2011

When Healthy Tastes Good: Brown Rice & Kale "Lasagna"

This recipe is simply marvelous! Earthy from the kale (which is INCREDIBLY good for us), chewy from the brown rice, tangy from the tomato sauce, and then there's the cheese...need I say more? It's a great way to sneak more vegetables into our meals without the groaning. This dish has the taste of lasagna, but it's less greasy and much healthier.

I was VERY skeptical of this recipe when I first saw it on, but, I'm clicking my heels for joy now that I've tried it. This 'lasagna' is getting put into my permanent rotation of meals. Here is the original post--it would be good to read it for more ideas. I have modified how the recipe is written (to make it easier to follow, in my opinion), and slightly adapted it based on my preferences (like the need for a bit more protein) and ingredient availability (didn't want to waste extra rice).

I really hope you all will try this for your families--it tastes absolutely delicious and would make a wonderful Sabbath meal (or Sunday dinner). Also, I do think that this dish could be made ahead and frozen. That is my plan for the next time it will be made at our house.


Serves ~8

For the rice layers:
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/4 cup tomato/pasta sauce (of your choice--I used a Target brand)
2 eggs
1 egg white
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper, to taste

For the vegetable layer:
2 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 large carrot, shredded or diced (I rather preferred it shredded)
1 bunch kale, stemmed and ripped into smaller pieces
1 cup of jarred tomato/pasta sauce
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 egg
1 egg white

4-6 ounces, cheese--I used a mixture of Parmesan, Asiago, and Mozzarella
Chopped parsley, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cup of tomato sauce, all the brown rice, 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, the minced garlic clove, 2 of the eggs, and 1 egg white. Season with salt and pepper.

Spray a baking dish (somewhat smaller than a 9X13, but larger than an 8X8) with cooking spray (olive oil preferred). Spread HALF of the rice mixture in this dish (set aside the rest) and bake for 10 minutes to dry it out (somewhat). Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Then, add the onion, celery, and carrot. Saute until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the kale and continue to saute for another minute or two. Add the rest of the tomato sauce, salt and pepper, and the other 1/2 tsp. of the Italian seasoning. Let mixture cool (Confession: I did not & it did not seem to matter--just went ahead with the egg mixing). Mix in the other egg and egg white.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle about 1/3 of your cheese mixture over the rice. Spread all of your vegetable mixture over the cooked rice. Then, add the rest of your rice over the vegetables and smooth it out so that it covers the vegetables evenly. Sprinkle the rest of your cheese on top of this last rice layer.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the lasagna has started to brown.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve warm--preferably with a salad and garlic bread.


  1. I left a comment on this a few days ago, but I'm not sure where it went?!? Out in cyberspace. At any rate, this looks delicious! I love when hearty and healthy unite!

  2. Oh! I never saw it! But, you have got to try this/it's surprisingly tasty, Brooke!