Toddler Treat: Broccoli and Rice Casserole

Jan 4, 2008 at 1:40 p.m. ET

Many toddlers know broccoli as "trees." Simply steamed, it is a perfect finger food. While broccoli is terrific in it's tree form, the crucifer is also yummy chopped, julienned and pureed. Our broccoli and rice casserole is an example of what can be done with pureed broccoli. If you don't feel like making the rice called for in the recipe, stop by a Chinese restaurant and buy a quart to go (by the way, brown rice is better for you than white rice).

Broccoli and rice casserole

2 cups chopped broccoli
3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 3 cups of cooked brown or white rice
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

1. Pre heat oven to 350 F.

2. Steam broccoli until tender (about 3 to 4 minutes in microwave/stovetop).

3. Place broccoli, soup stock, oil and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and process to a smooth puree.

4. Place rice and cheese in an ovenproof dish. Pour broccoli mixture over the rice and cheese. Toss mixture gently to blend ingredients.

5. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted. (Instead of using the oven, you can heat this dish in the microwave for 3 minutes, stir, and cook 3 more minutes)

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers for 3 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. This dish should not be introduced to children under 12 months old.