Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Brown Rice and Beans with Chicken Sausage

Nick loves to eat beans, whether they’re chickpeas or green beans or black beans. Last week, I made rice and beans for dinner, and boy, did he make a mess! This picture was taken after we took his bib off, if you can believe it.

This recipe is a favorite of his, and we make it quite often because it makes an insane amount of leftovers. Greg originally came up with the idea, although his version is more simple. Decently lowfat and healthy, this recipe provides fiber, protein, and vegetables. It’s also absolutely delicious, and it is quite cheap because I always make it when I have vegetables that are getting past their prime. For some reason, I never seem to get tired of this recipe. Enjoy!

Brown Rice and Beans with Chicken Sausage*

-3 T olive oil (or more, as needed)
-5 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 or 2 onions
-2 sweet peppers, chopped into little pieces
-5 cloves of garlic
-A couple of handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
-8 to 10 mushrooms, chopped into tiny pieces
-2 cans of stewed tomatoes, not drained
-2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
-6 Chicken Sausages, sliced (We use Chicken-Apple-Gouda Sausage from Costco)
-At least 1 t each of red pepper and garlic powder (or more)
-2 C Brown Rice
-Tons of parmesan cheese to pour on top

*Disclaimer--I do not typically measure when I cook. However, I've made this recipe with multiple variations of the above ingredients and it always turns out yummy.

1. Heat up the olive oil on medium heat, and add in the garlic, onions, and peppers. They take the longest to cook. Make sure you don't burn the garlic.

2. At the same time, cook the brown rice according to the directions on the bag. I usually make about 2 cups so that I have lots of leftovers.

3. Start tossing in the spinach, one handful at a time. You might need to add more olive oil, if it looks too dry. It should look like this.

3. Add in the mushrooms, the spices, and the two cans of tomatoes. Let it simmer for awhile (15 minutes, perhaps), stirring frequently. You're going to let some of the tomatoey liquid boil off. Taste it to make sure you have enough spices added. I often add more red pepper if I'm in a particularly spicy mood. It will look something like this.

4. Add in the beans (drained!) and the chicken sausage. Cook for another 15 minutes on medium heat, or until the mixture is somewhat thick. Serve over the brown rice, and dump as much parmesan as you'd like on top. The finished dinner looks something like this (pardon the bad photograph). I usually serve this recipe with broccoli, a half slice of bread with butter, and a glass of milk. Enjoy!

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