Kid Chef Cheesy Asparagus and Rice

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Kids can make this casserole to brighten a cold and dreary day. The warm cheesy mouthfuls of rice can make kids smile even after a hard day. This dish can be made ahead and with a green salad makes a hearty comforting meal. Pour ½ cup organic brown basmati rice into a pot with 1 ½ cups of water, 1 tbsp butter, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Cut a pound of organic asparagus into 1” pieces, leaving 3” tips, mince 1 clove of garlic, I deseeded chili pepper, ¼ red bell pepper, and a large slice of red onion. Add the veggies to the pot of rice with the 3” tips placed carefully on top and simmer 30 minutes more. In a baking dish mix ½ cup organic ricotta cheese, ½ cup organic half and half, ½ cup of shredded provolone cheese, ½ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp turmeric, and ½ tsp cumin. Cut one sprig each of fresh from the garden basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, and parsley into the dish. Using tongs remove the 3” tips of asparagus onto a plate. Mix the rice and veggies into the baking dish with the sauce. Place the asparagus tips on top. Toast ½ cup panko bread crumbs in 1 tbsp butter in a sauce pan and add sea salt and curry powder. Sprinkle the bread crumbs around the top of the dish and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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