I can’t decide what to call this recipe, but I can tell you why I decided this would be a perfect make-ahead meal to freeze for Baby D’s arrival. It fits all the criteria I was searching for:
- Vegetables– a whole bunch of ‘em- check!
- Healthy Carbs– brown rice- check!
- Flavorful so Hubbs will eat it-pepper jack cheese!- check!
- Protein– turkey sausage- check!
Southwestern Sausage and Veggie Casserole
(from Eating Well)
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups diced zucchini
- 2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided (I used a little more)
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces turkey sausage, casings removed
- 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese , (Neufchâtel) (I omitted this)
- 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bring the broth to simmer on the stove. While things are heating up, chop your veggies.
Stir together the zucchini, onions, peppers, salt, rice and broth in a 9×13 baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Remove foil and continue to bake (uncovered) for 35-45 minutes until all broth is absorbed into the rice and the veggies are tender.
Whisk together milk and flour in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to thicken (3-4 minutes).
Then reduce heat to low and stir in half the pepper jack cheese and corn.
Once the cheese is melted, cover and set aside.
In a pan, crumble and cook your sausage until no longer pink.
Once the rice and veggie base has fully absorbed all the broth, remove from oven.
Stir in the cheese sauce and sausage. Mix well.
Top with remaining pepper jack cheese and sprinkle the jalapenos on top.
At this point, I let the casserole cool, covered it with plastic wrap and stuck it in the freezer.
You can do the same, or if you want to eat it right away, return the casserole to the oven for about 10 minutes, then serve!
Though we haven’t tasted it yet, Hubbs said it looked so good and I had to swat his hand away to keep him from dipping a tortilla chip right into the middle of the casserole.
I guess it would made a pretty tasty dip, too 🙂
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!
…I’ll let you know on twitter if Baby D decides to arrive 😉