Tag Archives: brown rice

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Dinner tonight was chicken and sausage gumbo with brown rice. This version has a ton of vegetables, including onions, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, okra, and green onions and uses smoked turkey sausage and shredded rotisserie chicken. It is spicy, smoky, and extremely satisfying.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Simmering Away (click for larger image)

Boyfriend helped by picking the store-bought rotisserie chicken off the bone and shredding it and by making me a delicious gin and tonic.

We ate the gumbo with a big scoop of hot, cooked brown rice added right on top. The savory, spicy tomato broth soaked into the chewy brown rice and made the dish absolutely delicious. I loved all the different textures and tried to get a little bit of each ingredient in every spoonful. Aaron’s favorite part was (as always) the smoked sausage.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Brown Rice

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with Brown Rice (click to enlarge)

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo Recipe (Serves 4):

What you need:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 green or red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3-4 green onions, diced
  • 1 package smoked turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups (more or less) water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. creole seasoning (such as Tony’s), or to taste
  • Hot sauce (I recommend Tobasco’s chipotle pepper sauce), to taste (optional)
  • 1 package (12 oz.) frozen okra
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, picked and shredded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
How to do it:
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture turns light brown. (Cooking fat and flour together in equal amounts results in a roux, which thickens the gumbo. You could make a darker roux if you have time and if you prefer, but a quick light brown roux worked for me just fine.)
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery to the pot and stir until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Add the sliced sausage and garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, water, bay leaves, oregano, creole seasoning, hot sauce (if using), salt, and pepper. Be careful not to add too much salt, as creole seasoning often contains salt. Stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the tomatoes and vegetables to break down and the flavors to marry. Add the okra and continue to simmer until the okra is cooked through, about another 10 minutes. If the gumbo seems too thick, you can add more water.
  5. Add the shredded chicken and green onions. Stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. Serve the gumbo hot in bowls with scoops of brown rice and enjoy!
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Brown Rice Sushi

On Thursday, I wanted a quick, light meal to eat before I went to work. Thursday was the first real day of my new job – last week was orientation. So I went to a local supermarket chain called Ukrop’s and started hunting for something suitable. I meandered over to their little sushi section and spotted inside-out sushi rolls with carrot, cucumber, and avocado that were made with short-grain brown rice.

brownricesushi1jpg

I usually prefer to eat brown rice over white rice because it contains nutrients that white rice does not, such as magnesium, fiber, and fatty acids. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_rice#White_rice_comparison) I also really like the nutty flavor and chewy texture. I’d often wondered whether sushi could be made with brown rice, but guessed that it wouldn’t stick together the way that white sushi rice does and assumed it wouldn’t work. So, I was very surprised to see this brown rice sushi! Twelve pieces for $5.49 seemed reasonable enough, so I bought the package and brought it home.

brownricesushi2

I know that supermarket sushi is probably a huge faux-pas for many foodies, but this tasted good! The brown rice was plenty sticky, and I liked its chewiness with the crunch of the vegetables and the butteriness of the avocado. The little black sesame seeds enhanced the nutty taste of the brown rice. The cool sushi calmed my first-day-of-work nerves. This was definitely a healthy tasty cheap lunch.

brownricesushicloseup

Vegetable Curry

Another great way to use up whatever odds and ends are left in the kitchen at the end of the week is a nice big pot of curry! This week, I picked up a jar of Patak’s Hot Curry Paste to make my life a little easier.

Image from amazon.com

Image from amazon.com

And it worked! I chopped up potatoes and carrots and threw them into a hot pot with a little canola oil and sauteed them for a few minutes until they were starting to soften. Then I added several tablespoons of the yummy curry paste and a can of diced tomatoes. I cooked a pot of instant brown rice alongside the big pot of bubbling curry. I added my frozen green beans, frozen corn, and a can of chickpeas. When the potatoes were tender, I added the chopped broccoli florets and a few already-cooked leftover green peas and cooked the curry for another five minutes or so. Then I turned off the heat and added about half a bag of spinach and a bunch of chopped green onions, stirring it all together until the spinach wilted. Aaron and I ate the curry on top of the hot cooked brown rice.

Lots and Lots of Vegetables Curry!

Lots and Lots of Vegetables!

I loved eating this because there were so many different colors, flavors, and textures in the bowl, and it makes me feel good to eat a meal with so many different types of vegetables.

I took this picture shortly before I had the idea of adding a few tablespoons of plain nonfat yogurt and a sprinkle of cashew nuts to the top. The yogurt added a lovely creamy texture and a tangy flavor that matched the flavor of the curry nicely. Be careful when adding yogurt to anything that is hot and bubbly, however. It can curdle!

Extreme Curry Close-up!

Curry Close-up!

The verdict on the Patak’s Curry Paste is a big thumbs up. It is much easier than me attempting to understand the mysteries of Indian spices, and it tastes very good. Previously, I had either tried to season curries on my own, or bought a jar of Patak’s Cooking Sauce. A jar of the cooking sauce costs about $3.50 and contains enough for about 3-4 servings, but a jar of curry paste costs around $4.25 and contains enough for 10 servings. Since I find that the paste is more cost-effective, that is definitely what I will buy from now on.

Brown Rice with Sugar Snap Peas, Cashews and Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce

Ah, it’s Monday again, and that means tomorrow is the big grocery shop day. I actually haven’t been to the grocery store since we got back, so it was pretty slim pickins in my kitchen. But I did have some instant brown rice, a bag of frozen sugar snap peas, a jar of roasted cashews, and a can of crushed pineapple, and with the addition of some soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sriracha sauce, this is what I got:

Brown Rice with Sugar Snap Peas, Roasted Cashews, and Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce

Brown Rice with Sugar Snap Peas, Roasted Cashews, and Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce

I was feeling lazy tonight, so this influenced my cooking (which is also influencing my decision not to write a formal recipe!) – I threw the cup or so of instant rice into a pot with water and cooked it until there were about five minutes left, then added the frozen sugar snaps. While that was cooking, I mixed half of the small the can of crushed pineapple in a bowl with about 2 Tbsp. of soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. of rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. of honey, 1 tsp. of the hot sriracha sauce, and a few drops of sesame oil. When the rice and peas were done cooking, I mixed in the pineapple teriyaki sauce, helped myself to a bowl, and topped it with roasted, lightly-salted cashews.

This was a really tasty dinner, considering the fact that I haven’t been to the grocery store in about two weeks!