The snow is falling gently outside. I’m sitting on my couch in the same position I’ve been in for the last 48 hours — nestled in a blanket and a heap of tissues with my cat curled up next to me. I’m fairly certain my husband is getting tired of hearing me clear my throat and blow my nose every five seconds, but he doesn’t show it. Instead, he willingly goes out to run errands for me, heats up my tea and lets me use his lap as a footrest while we watch movies together (side note: “Argo” is fantastic. Watch it).
At one point, I’m also fairly certain that I might suffocate beneath this mountain of wadded-up tissues, so I lug myself off the couch and into — where else? — the kitchen. If I’m going to be cooped up for the next couple of days to recover from whatever amalgamation of illnesses this is (survey says it’s a nasty bout of the cold plus the beginnings of spring allergies. Fun times for Stephanie), I might as well make myself useful (second side note: I am not good at being sick and resting all day. I can’t do it. It makes me antsy).
I’m in serious need of comfort food and because a) the snow is piling up on the streets and b) I sort of look like death warmed over, I am limited to whatever lurks within my cupboards. So I paw through the boxes and the cans and peruse the refrigerator shelves until I decide that indeed, a casserole must be made and it must be filling and yummy and topped with cheese — as is per my usual standards for most anything I eat.
Of course, the cough kicks in and the couch beckons, but my tummy continues to rumble so I know I need to make something, but something that won’t cause me to spend too much time vertical. I cook the rice, saute the mushrooms and onions in a few tosses and stir everything together with a creamy mushroom cooking sauce from Progresso. A sprinkle of Gruyere cheese on top (I can’t get enough of it) and into the oven it goes to bake up into something warm and hearty and utterly delicious.
Once the cheese bubbles and my apartment smells like magic, I know it’s ready. I pull the casserole out from the oven, scoop a heap into my bowl and into that of my Footrest’s and resume my recovery couch-side.
One bite of this comfort food, and I’m already feeling better.
Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Casserole
A Girl Versus Dough original (loosely inspired by Heidi Swanson’s recipe in Super Natural Every Day)
Yields: 6 servings
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cups cooked wild rice
1 can (18 ounces) Progresso Recipe Starters creamy portabella mushroom cooking sauce
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium or large casserole baking dish and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add just enough oil to coat bottom of pan, about a tablespoon; add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook mushrooms until tender and liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent, another 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in cooked rice and cooking sauce and pour into prepared baking dish. Top with cheese. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes; remove foil and bake another 20 minutes until filling is bubbly and cheese is browned.
Disclosure: I received compensation from Progresso for recipe development purposes. All opinions are my own.
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