This recipe is a variation of a recipe done by Sunny Anderson on the Food Network.

While I like the recipe, I made some changes. I used fresh broccoli instead of frozen and I substituted brown rice in place of white because brown rice has more nutritional value. I also used fat-free Half & Half in place of the cream, and olive oil instead of butter. The resulting dish was absolutely delicious; all of the flavor was still there despite the changes.

I made this as a side dish for Thanksgiving and I am sure I will have plenty of requests for this dish for years to come. I hope you enjoy it.


3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for casserole dish
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pound sliced shiitake or
Baby Portabella mushrooms
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups fat-free Half & Half
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
Pinch of nutmeg
3 cups fresh broccoli florets and stems, trimmed & chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss
3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: 1 1/8-quart oval casserole dish


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Brush casserole dish with a light coat of olive oil. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and flour over medium heat until flour is a light golden roux. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and seasonings, followed by the fat-free Half & Half and chicken broth, broccoli, 1/2 cup of both the Gruyere and cheddar cheese. Add rice last. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into greased dish and top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.