It really is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is over a week away. This time of year, it’s hard not to spend time reflecting on the blessings of the past year and give thanks… and EAT! When it comes to Thanksgiving food, my favorites are the sides (sorry turkey, you didn’t make the cut). I could eat just a plate of the sides and be happy! My Cauliflower Rice Mushroom Casserole is the perfect healthy side for any holiday meal. Layers of cauliflower, mushrooms, and brown rice mixed with a cheese gravy and topped with a crunch… So delicious and creamy you wouldn’t believe that it’s actually healthy! Cauliflower Rice Mushroom Casserole is a must to add to your new holiday side dishes! This is a Weight Watcher friendly recipe and each serving is 7 SmartPoints.
2016 has been the BEST year of my life; I have so many people to be thankful for and a lot much to be grateful for this year. In a nutshell in 2016, I got married to my best friend and true love, moved to Indianapolis to start a new life, went on an amazing honeymoon in Costa Rica, started THIS BLOG, and had so many fun times with friends and family that I will never forget. What I’m truly thankful for is all the support my family and friends gave my husband and me when we decided to take a huge leap of faith to leave our home in Texas and move to the Midwest. While it might seem odd for us to leave a cool (as in hip) city in Texas and move to a “cool” (as in cold) city, we made this move to better the future of our family and improve our quality of life. Our family and friends supported us in our decision and the gratitude for that is endless. I guess that means we have some amazing friends and family!
Thanksgiving has changed for me over the last few years, which tends to happen once you get into a relationship with a partner who also has a big family. This year will be way different for my husband and me. Instead of driving 40 minutes to visit family, we will driving 9+ hours to visit family. When we moved to Indy, we knew that while we were leaving some of our family in Texas, we were going to be closer to other family in Maryland & D.C. We are both really excited for this trip, especially me because I’ve never been to this area before! I’m also excited to spend Thanksgiving with family that I haven’t spent the holiday with yet. Different traditions and different food than what I have experienced before.
I’ve been with my husband for almost 3 years and since we’ve been together, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with his side of the family. Even though his family has different traditions than my family, they still celebrate Thanksgiving and EAT. Everyone eats! It’s been fun over the years seeing the dishes his family brings to Thanksgiving. I always like to contribute to the meal, whether it be a dessert dish or a side dish. A while back I was thinking about what side dish I could bring this year. I wanted to make some sort of casserole and put a healthy twist on it, because that’s what I do! One of my favorite side dishes is broccoli rice casserole. It’s SO GOOD.
Cauliflower has been all the rage the past few years, but I never see this vegetable make it do the dinner table at Thanksgiving so I wanted to pay tribute to one of my favorite vegetables. For my cauliflower casserole, I decided to add mushrooms because they add a good meaty flavor to the casserole… and I love mushrooms. To lighten the casserole up, I used brown rice instead of white rice. This casserole has a few steps to make it, but I’m telling you, it’s worth it! To start, cut the cauliflower into florets then boil them for about 20 minutes until the cauliflower is fork tender. While the cauliflower is boiling, cook the brown rice according to the package instructions. For the mushrooms, I like to buy pre-sliced baby bella mushrooms. I actually prefer to dice the mushrooms up a little bit, but you can leave that step out if you want bigger pieces of mushrooms. Once the cauliflower and rice are cooked, add them to a big bowl along with the mushrooms.
What really makes this casserole Thanksgiving side dish worthy, is the cheese gravy. Yep, cheese GRAVY! To make the gravy, melt a few tablespoons of butter then add white whole wheat flour. Whisk and cook for a minute or two. Next add milk and whisk. This is what makes the gravy. After the milk has thickened, add shredded Gruyere cheese and mix until all the cheese is melted. Finally, add the cheese gravy to the bowl of veggies and stir. Cheese gravy! So darn good y’all. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and sprinkle the top with shredded Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. All in all, the prep for this dish is about 30 minutes. The dish will bake for about 20 minutes. The great thing about this dish is that it can easily be made ahead of time, like even a day before!
Another great thing about this casserole is that it’s delicious. You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to eat this… you can eat it ANY TIME OF YEAR :). The ingredients are not seasonal so it’s totally acceptable to make this casserole dish for a Fourth of July party… I’m just sayin…
Cauliflower Rice Mushroom Casserole is a must to add to your new holiday side dishes! Layers of cauliflower, mushrooms, and brown rice mixed with a cheese gravy and topped with a crunch… So delicious and creamy you wouldn’t believe that it’s actually healthy! This casserole is great for any holiday meal and great to make all year round! Perfect to serve as a dinner for meatless Monday!
I hope you enjoy these bites of flavor!