12-2: Rice and Vegetable Bake

I’ve done over 100 recipes for this project so far, and I’m about a week shy of working on it for 2 years. Most of those recipes weren’t bad. Maybe not repeats, but not too many of them stick out as YUCK in my mind…until now. I did NOT like 12-2: Rice and Vegetable Bake, but maybe that’s just me–I can admit that I’m weird about certain textures and flavors.

Simply Delicious describes this dish as “colorful” and “nutritious”, which is 1980s code for “bland diet/health food that nobody really likes but can tolerate to varying degrees”. Having had too much of this kind of stuff forced upon me throughout my parents’ yo-yo dieting phases, the mere notion sends a shiver down my spine.

Onward, for science. ?

There’s not a lot of seasoning or flavor components to this dish, besides the bell pepper and the *optional* nutmeg. Had I known how bland it was going to turn out, I would have been more liberal with the seasonings in the beginning, regardless of the recipe. They suggest adding chicken or sausage–if you’re not meat-averse, I’d suggest it if for nothing else but flavor.

Ingredients. I went with walnuts as my nut choice, and substituted lactose-free 2% milk for half-and-half. Granted, this contributed greatly to the blandness of the final dish, but it was NOT the only component.

Cooking the rice in my trusty rice cooker, a $15 Target purchase nearly 10 years ago that has been more than worth it.

Veggies diced, parsley added.

Walnuts chopped up with my chef’s knife.

Butter melted in a saucepan, although if I had read ahead more thoroughly and realized I was just adding melted butter into other ingredients, I would have just done it in the microwave and saved myself the pan washing.

Eggs beaten, milk measured while the butter melts.

Once the cooker popped I combined everything together. The only “ring mold” type pan I had was a Bundt pan, so that’s what I’m going with.

Here goes nothing.

Well, the bottom looks pretty. There’s no promise what the rest of it looks like. Or tastes like.

Well, there it is. A frittata/crustless-quiche filled with rice and cooked in a Bundt pan. It’s not that exciting, but if you covered it with sriracha or something, it might be okay. I wasn’t a fan, but this kind of stuff is definitely not my jam.

Grade: D