|A risotto-like dish that is worth every minute!|
If you have 4-1/2 cups of leftover brown rice, then you'll save 90 minutes of cooking time at the beginning. Just sauté the vegetables in a nonstick pan until tender and add them to the pre-cooked rice.
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This recipe basically has 4 parts:
1. Prepare the rice & vegetable mixture (allow 90 minutes if you start with uncooked rice);
2. Make the cheese sauce;
3. Brown the turkey sausage
4. Put it all together
Total prep + cooking time: Approximately 2 hrs. 45 mins.
ZUCCHINI, SAUSAGE & RICE CASSEROLE
Adapted from Cooking.com. Original recipe from Eating Well Magazine
SERVES 12 (1 cup servings)
• 1 -1/2 c. long-grain brown rice
• 3 c. reduced-sodium nonfat chicken broth
• 4 c. chopped zucchini or summer squash
• 2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
• 1 large sweet onion, chopped
• 1 -1/2 c. nonfat milk
• 3 T. all-purpose white flour
• 2 c. shredded (or crumbled or sliced) pepper jack cheese, divided (1 -1/2 c. + 1/2 c.)
• 1 - 11 oz. can Mexican-style corn, undrained
• 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 8 oz. mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
• 4 oz. lowfat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)
• 1 small can diced mild green chilies (4 oz.)
Preheat oven to 375°F
Part 1: Make the rice & veggies
Mis en place: Chop zucchini, bell peppers & onion. Mix up in a large mixing bowl.
|Mis en place the zucchini, bell peppers & onions|
|Fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth|
|Rice & vegetables ready for the oven—|
Spoon into a large mixing bowl after cooking
Part 2: Make the cheese sauce
Pour 1-1/2 c. of cold nonfat milk into a 4 c. Pyrex measuring cup. Hand whisk 3 T. of all-purpose white flour into the milk until smooth. Pour milk/flour mixture into a small nonstick saucepan. Cook over medium heat until bubbling & thickened, whisking frequently for about 3 to 4 mins. Reduce heat to low & fold in 1-1/2 c. jack cheese and 1 can of undrained Mex corn. Stir until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth, about 1 minute more. Add cheese sauce to the large mixing bowl with the rice & veggies. Just toss it on top of the rice; you will mix it all together after the sausage is added.
|Start with a simple white sauce (whisk flour into cold milk, then heat)|
|I crumbled all but 6 slices into the white sauce & saved the|
rest for the top of the casserole
Part 3: Cook the turkey sausage
Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet & add crumbled sausage. Cook, stirring & breaking up sausage into small pieces until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
|chubby mild Italian turkey sausages|
|lightly browned in a nonstick skillet with a little olive oil|
Part 4: Put it all together
In the large mixing bowl, combine cooked rice & vegetables with browned sausage and cheese sauce. Season with kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste. Transfer into a clean 9" x 13" glass casserole sprayed with nonstick spray. Top with remaining 1/2 c. jack cheese & cream cheese broken up into teaspoon-sized globs. Evenly distribute canned chilies over the cheese. Grind black pepper over the top & sprinkle evenly with paprika.
|rice mixture waiting for cheese sauce & sausage|
|Top with pepper jack & Neufchâtel|
...don't forget the canned chilies
|Lighten it up with low-fat cream cheese|
Place a piece of Reynold's nonstick aluminum foil on the middle shelf & return the casserole to a 375°F oven. Bake for 35 to 45 mins. until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 12, 1 cup servings.
Nutritional info: calories 248 (reduced since I used nonfat instead of lowfat milk); 9 g fat (slightly less because of the nonfat milk); carbs 29g; chol 34 mg; sodium less than 491 mg since I did not add any salt & used reduced-sodium broth & low-sodium cheese. Finished dish will contain the amount of salt in the recipe, plus whatever you add to taste, plus whatever salt is in the canned Mexican corn; fiber 2g; % from fat 33% (less because of the nonfat milk); sat fat 5g (slightly reduced)
|Most of these went into the dishwasher|
|Goats Do Roam (Red 2010) from South Africa holds|
up well to this hearty dish
|A side of fresh greens and some Cholula Chipotle hot sauce|
finish off this wonderfully satisfying supper