Brown Rice and Mushroom Casserole

My sister told me about this site, 101cookbooks.  All the recipes are vegetarian and pretty healthy.  She has a recipe for black bean brownies that I am planning to try soon.  There are so many yummy things that I’ve put on my list of “to-make” recipes.  I may not ever find the time to make them all!  Anyway, this sounded so delicious and would pair well with the garlic and herb pork tenderloin I planned to make for dinner.  


This casserole came together really quickly.  I cooked the rice earlier in the day and kept it in the fridge until that evening.  I also prepped my onion and mushrooms in the afternoon.  I like cooking a dish like they do on food shows.  Bowls of pre-cut ingredients ready to go.  I almost felt like giving verbal instructions to my dog as I cooked this…but I decided against it.

The only hard part about this casserole is waiting the hour it takes to bake.  It smells so lovely that you’ll want to dig in as soon as the aroma starts to take over your kitchen.  Remember, patience is a virtue.  This is delicious.

I used brown rice, low fat cottage cheese, low fat sour cream, added 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped tarragon with the garlic to punch up the tarragon flavor.  Maybe I would add a bit more salt, or cook my rice with salt, next time.

Mushroom and Brown Rice Casserole

  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) brown mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 large onion, well chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (low fat)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (low fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons plus a bit more fresh tarragon, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Spray a baking dish (I used a 9×9) with cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute the mushrooms in olive oil and sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt. Stir every minute or so until the mushrooms have released their liquid and have browned a bit. Add the onions and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes or until they are translucent.


Stir in the garlic and 2 teaspoons tarragon, cook for another minute and remove from heat. Add the rice to the skillet and stir until combined.


In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, and salt.

Combine the rice mixture and cottage cheese mixture in a large bowl, stir until well combined.


Turn out into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese.

mushroom4 Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes more or hot throughout and golden along the edges. Sprinkle with more of the chopped tarragon, and the remaining Parmesan and enjoy.


Serves about 8.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


I made 2 batches of these cookies.  One with butter, and the other with vegetable oil.


I found this recipe on The Whole Grain Gourmet.  I didn’t change much in the recipe.  I didn’t have any molasses, so I mixed 3/4 cup dark brown sugar with 1/4 cup water.  I used a tablespoon of this mixture in place of the tablespoon of molasses.  I also used pecans instead of walnuts.  And of course I used 1/2 cup butter is the butter recipe instead of the 1/2 cup oil.


I was surprised at how similar the two cookies looked after baking.  Going in to the oven I would not have predicted this outcome since the dough in the bowl looked quite different.  There are slight differences in the baked cookie.  The butter cookies were a little thinner and spread a bit more than the oil cookies.  The latter had a bit more height to them in the center.  


You can tell by looking closely and holding each cookie that the oil cookie is more dense.  At first bite there is more initial crunch to the butter cookie, but that doesn’t last too long.  A few chews into the cookie and they both have the same wheaty, substantial texture.  If I were to be incredibly critical, then I would say that they was more chew to the oil cookie…but not a great deal more.  


The moment of truth…the taste of the cookies are not very different.  The butter cookie seemed to be sweeter, or so my taste testers say.  Maybe the butter brings out the sweetness?  I don’t know.  The honey is a nice sweetener.  It isn’t too sweet so the raisins really stand out.  I liked the presence of pecans, but the pieces I used were too small.  Next time I wouldn’t chop them quite so small, maybe just cut the pecan halves into fourths.  

These cookies taste healthy.  I like the oats and texture of the wheat flour.  I also like not feeling so guilty about eating these!  If I have a choice, I will opt for an oatmeal cookie with butter, sugar and all-purpose flour.  I guess I just like my cookies sweet and unhealthy.  As a healthy option, these are very good.  I gave some to a 5th grade girl I know, and she liked them.  So, if your kids want cookies, these are a good healthy alternative.  I may try adding dark chocolate chips next time and using half all-purpose and half wheat flour.

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

Courtesy of The Whole Grain Gourmet


Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (a pinch more depending on the moisture of the mix)
  • 1 1/2 cups of Large Flake Rolled Oats (smaller flake is ok too)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon (I actually use about 3 Tbsp–got to love cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg (optional)

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup oil or 1/2 cup unsalted room temperature butter 
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 1 egg (beat with 1 Tbsp Water)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins (1 cup for my Dad’s batch)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (more for my Dad’s)!!


  1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together. Hint: when measuring out the honey, spray the measuring cup with oil or baking spray–your honey won’t stick.
  3. Mix the wet stuff with the dry stuff. Add the raisins and walnuts and mix. If the mixture seems too wet, add a bit of flour. If it isn’t binding together very well, you may wish to add an egg white.
  4. COOL the mix for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  5. Preheat the oven to 335 degrees (lower temperature due to the honey in the recipe which will burn more easily).
  6. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto your baking sheet 
  7. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until golden on the bottom of the cookie. The cookies freeze very well and make a great snack! Enjoy.

The Butter Cookie

Upon mixing the butter with the honey, molasses and egg I was worried by the little nasty chunks of butter.  After adding the dry ingredients the dough came together fine. 



The Oil Cookie

The dough was very sticky and looked runny.  I thought it would run all over the cookie sheet creating one big cookie after baking, but they held up great in the oven.