Broccoli, Chickpea and Rice Bake

A reader challenge dish!

The Broccoli, Chickpea and Rice Bake is one of our reader challenge recipes. 

Every now and again we like to issue a challenge to our readers - well, it's more to ourselves with our reader's participation.  We ask readers to tell us their four favorite ingredients or foods and then we set out to pick one of the entries and use all four ingredients in one recipe. For this one, broccoli, chickpea, rice and garlic were the ingredient suggestions.

Another one was strawberries, pineapple, almond milk and dark chocolate. We made a "Fruity, Almond Chocolate Flan". You can click the link to see that recipe.

But this one posed a bit of a challenge. We decided to combine the four ingredients with a soup base and then bake it in the oven. And the Broccoli, Chickpea and Rice Bake was the result.  Be sure to read the recipe and note the little disclaimer or the afterthought at the end. All in all, not a bad effort though.

Broccoli, Chickpea Rice Bake


1 can (16 oz.) chickpeas
2 cups of fresh broccoli florets
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of celery soup
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
4 cups (cooked) of brown rice
1 1/2 tsp. Seasoned Salt
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

How we make it

First, saute the chopped garlic in the olive oil.

Add half the cooked rice to the skillet and mix thouroughly
with the garlic. Don't overdo it, the rice is already
cooked and simply needs to pick up the garlic.

Meanwhile, add water and cream of celery soup to a large
saucepan and heat until the soup and water combine thoroughly.

In a steamer or saucepan, steam the broccoli florets until
they are just crisp tender and dark green.

Spray a 9x9 baking pan or casserole dish with cooking spray.
Place the sauted garlic and rice mixture in the bottom of the
baking pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle on the seasoned salt.

Sprinkle the broccoli florets across the bottom on top of the
rice. Put in about 1/2 of the chickpeas and spread them across
the bottom as well.

Put the remaining rice on top of the mixture. Pour on the cream
of celery soup and spread evenly.

Top the whole thing with the remaining chickpeas, spreading them
across the top layer in the pan.

Cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Uncover and allow to bake another 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Goes well with fresh rye or whole grain bread and a fruit cup.

Afterthoughts: This dish may have been a little more flavorful
with any of the following:

1 to 1 1/2 cups of shredded vegan cheddar atop the first layer of rice.  Substitute cream of mushroom soup or cream of tomato soup.

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