And the crust is Gluten Free!
Years ago, when I lived in Australia, I tried being a vegetarian. It was during this time that I found and developed a number of interesting recipes. One of my sources was the paperback book: Recipes For a Small Planet by Ellen Buchman Ewald. I highly recommend this book, more for its recipes than the explanation at the beginning. I’m not sure how well or accurately that information covers nutrition, especially in terms of “macrobiotic” diet and all. But, the recipes are sound and provide a variety of nutritious vegetarian options.
One of the neatest recipes I stumbled on—and I honestly don’t remember where I found it—was the brown rice crust vegetable pie. I wrote it into the blank back pages of Recipes For a Small Planet, so I assume one of my Aussie friends passed the recipe to me. Here it is as I wrote it down originally:
Rice Crust and Vege Pie
Chop up carrot, bell pepper, cooked zucchini, mushrooms, onion and garlic, and other odds and
Cook a cup and a half of brown rice and mix in one egg.
Press rice/egg mixture into a pie plate (oiled with butter, olive oil, or margarine).
Fill with vege mixture and cover with tomato slices and grated cheese.
Add chopped bacon if not vegetarian.
Cook for as long as necessary.
Over the years I have modified this recipe and added much to it. The beauty of it is that you can use white rice or brown rice—you can even add some wild rice to the white rice. It is so versatile and tasty. Although I’ve never tried it, I think you could even make a “sweet” pie if you add brown sugar to the rice egg mixture before you press it into the pie plate. Adding raisons, dates, and other dried fruit, and possibly nuts, into your mixture could create a neat effect. I do need to experiment with that.
Here is the filled out recipe that we developed over the years:
Vegetable (with or without meat) Pie with Rice Crust
1 large size pie pan (metal or pyrex) greased with olive oil, margarine, or butter.
1 1/2 2 cups cooked rice (white or brown)
2 Cups mixed vegetables
You can use frozen mixed vegetables or you can chop up your own (peas, green beans, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, celery, onion, and so on).
1 Cup grated cheese (I use cheddar but other hard cheeses work well)
1 Cup cheese cubed.
1 Small steak cubed (optional)
5 strips of bacon (optional)
1 clove of garlic to taste
1 small onion (if using prepackaged frozen mixed vegetables)
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon tobasco (more or less to taste)
Mix the two eggs with the cooked rice in a mixing bowl.
Press the mixture into the greased pie plate and up onto the sides. This will be the crust of your pie. Set aside.
Mix the 2 cups of chopped vegetables, 1 cup of cubed cheese, meat (if using), spices, onion, garlic, and tobasco in a bowl.
Put the vegetable/meat mixture into the pie plate carefully so as not to disturb the rice crust.
Cover the pie with slices of tomato, strips of bacon (if using meat) and the cup of grated cheese.
Place in preheated oven (moderate heat 250 – 300 Fahrenheit) for about 30 to 40 minutes. (Adjust for cooking at altitude)
One variation that has worked for me was to include legumes. I would put kidney beans, soybeans, and lentils into a pressure cooker and cook until they were soft. I’d add them to the vege mixture and the pie became quite heavy and filling. A good option for true vegetarians.
This is a loosey-goosey recipe and you should use it only as a guideline to develop your own pie. The key is the white or brown rice crust (simply rice and egg) and the filling is up to you. Experiment—it is quick and easy to make. Over the years my wife and I have added curry powder and other ingredients to give the pie an Indian flair. We love Mexican food so usually add chili peppers and cumin and other ingredients to give it a south of the border taste.