Dirty Rice Deliciousness

Somehow, we ended up with a TON of produce in our fridge. This is partially because we got a lovely complimentary CSA box over the weekend. It also is because we cooked a lot of things, shopped for a lot of things, and didn’t finish many of those things (hello, three heads of lettuce!) The past couple of days, though – we’ve had great dinners that incorporate our veggies and the leftover sausage in the fridge.

I’ve also picked up my workout schedule in preparation for the Portland Shamrock Run next weekend. Running 4+ miles in the morning can make a girl seriously hungry. Dave is on an even tougher workout plan since he is doing the 15k at the Shamrock Run, and so far this week we’ve devoured all the apples and bananas we had, plus a couple of pounds of carrots and celery for when we ran out of fruit.

When you are working hard towards an athletic goal, it’s important to fuel your body but not overdo it. That’s what we’re trying to put into practice with meals like this one. We took a traditional dish, and changed the scale a little bit – the ratio of veggies to rice has been pushed way up, and the meat to veggies ratio has been pushed way down.

Did I mention that this is something I haven’t really made before? But oh my, was it delicious. Anyone who can resist sausage, garlic and onions has way more self control than I.

And at under 500 calories, this delicious dish is a win-win situation for dinner.

Here’s what you need to make this delicious garlicky dinner. I based ours on a recipe from The Neelys:

  • About 6 oz. spicy sausage
  • One bell pepper
  • Brown rice, uncooked
  • A large yellow onion
  • 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic or more
  • Parsley
  • 6 cups of chicken stock

About an hour before you want to eat, start your brown rice cooking in 5 1/2 cups of the chicken stock. Save 1/2 cup for later.

When the rice is very nearly done (you can supplement with water if you need more to cook the rice through and don’t want to open another can), brown the sausage in a little bit of vegetable oil.

Once it is browned, add the peppers and onion to the skillet, and cook for another 4-5 minutes while they soften. Mince the garlic and add it about halfway through.

When the vegetables are cooked, add the remaining half cup of stock and the cayenne pepper to the dish, and simmer to reduce the stock a little bit.

As you can see from this photo, it will steam quite a bit, so if you were planning on taking decent photos, think again!

Carefully spoon rice into the the skillet to toss with the other ingredients (it may not all fit, as it turns out. Maybe I need a bigger skillet! 🙂 ). Shake a serious amount of parsley into the mix, too (or better yet: use fresh). If you are a person of medium spiciness eating, like myself, this will be pretty perfect – it’s not too spicy but it does require a glass of water to wash it down. If you like really spicy foods, I’d either add more cayenne or add some hot sauce.

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