Dirty–not really–Rice

dirty rice

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… let’s see: three classroom “holiday” parties, one orchestra concert, two choir performances, two holiday shows (thank you for putting third and fourth grade together!), Christmas caroling with the neighbors (we are too cute) and an extra Christmas celebration with the cousins as my brother’s family is out of town for the big day.  All of this in 7 days?  Sure!  What?  You say I need to bring food to every single event?  Got it.  Sure.  Why not.

I’m joking, by the way.  Much like a size 1 supermodel who casual mentions “It really doesn’t matter what I eat at all–I simply never gain weight!” I would hate for you to hate me.

Yes.  I like to cook.  Yes.  I’m pretty organized.  And yes, the holidays stress me out too.  (And no, I’m not a size 1–see photo, ahem–top right.)

Oh yes, and my family still wants to, like, eat three meals a day plus snacks… enter: Michelle’s Dirty–not really–Rice.  My kiddos don’t exactly swoon over Cajun spices, and I didn’t have all the correct ingredients anyway (and I sure as heck was not going to make yet another trip to the store!) So I modified, grabbed some left overs and whipped up a nutritious, all-in-one-bowl, tasty dish that we all gobbled up pronto.  What is merrier than that?

Easy-tasty-healthy, baby.  That and planning ahead (I have three meals prepared already for next week when I’ll be practically living at my kids’ elementary school) is the key to serenity.  Throw in a glass of wine and you’ve got yourself a real holiday winner.

Dirty–not really-Rice

Ingredients: 2-3 cups cooked rice, 3 Italian sausages, 1 chopped red pepper, 1/2 chopped onion, 1-2 cloves crushed garlic, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp butter, 1-2 stalks chopped celery, 1 can red beans (drained and rinsed), salt and pepper.  (red pepper optional)

Directions: Saute your onion, garlic, peppers and celery in the olive oil.  Place the sausages amongst the these tasty delights.  After the sausages have cooked for a while, remove them and slice to finish cooking and sear each piece a bit.  Cook rice separately.  Drain and rinse your beans.

When meat and veggies are done, simply toss in the rice, beans and a little butter.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I added a few shakes of red (cayenne) pepper to Mike and my dishes to perk them up a little.  Super yum-ola baby!

Tips: You could make this dish with other meats too (chicken would be nice/or hey, go vegetarian!) and don’t be afraid of throwing in other vegetables like carrots or sliced squash.

The Midwesterner in me loves this type of meal (it’s the casserole concept but w/out the condensed soup nonsense), especially during busy weeks, because it’s a balanced meal in one bowl.  Not only is this easy to make, it takes minutes to clean up!  One pot, five bowls, five forks.  Done.

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