Sausage, Pepper, and Rice Casserole

Ingredients
1 medium red bell pepper
1 medium yellow bell pepper
1 cup yellow onion, diced  (or, optionally, a 1/2 cup chopped shallots)
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 Tbsp. minced garlic (about two cloves)
1/2 pound turkey sausage, sweet, casing removed
1/2 pound turkey sausage, hot, casing removed
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. black pepper (this will seem like alot, but don’t worry!)
1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 1/2 cups plus 2 cups vegetable stock or broth, divided
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage (OPTIONAL)
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley (OPTIONAL)

Prep Time: 50 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Total Time: 1 hr. 15 min.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Cook the long-grain brown rice by placing it in 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock/broth.  Bring the rice to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 50 minutes (or until done).  Remove from heat and set off to the side.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the sweet and spicy turkey sausage and season with the black pepper.  Brown, drain, and place to the side.
  4. Remove the top and bottom of the bell peppers and remove the inside seeds.  Slice the body into 1/4″ thick slices, and dice the tops and bottoms into small cubes.  Dice the onion and celery.
  5. In a large saute pan heated to a medium temperature, place the olive oil and bring it to temperature.  Add the onion (or shallots, if substituting), celery, and garlic, and saute until the onion (or shallot) starts to become translucent.
  6. Add the bell pepper strips and continue sauteing for two more minutes.  Add the flour and stir until a thick paste-like substance forms around the vegetables.  Cook for an additional one minute.
  7. Add 2 cups of vegetable stock/broth and bring to a boil.  The vegetable mixture should come to a sauce-like consistency. If it is too thick for your taste, add more stock.  If it is too thin, add small amounts of flour and mix well.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for two more minutes.
  8. If you’re adding in sage, mix it into the sauce at this time.
  9. Layer the rice, sausage, and vegetable sauce, in that order, into a 8″x8″ casserole dish.  There should be enough for two full layers.  Top with the diced peppers.
  10. Cook at 350 F, uncovered for 25 minutes.  When complete, topped with chopped parsley.

Nutrition Information per ServingSausage, Pepper, and Rice Casserole
Servings: 5
Calories: 353
Calories from Fat: 84
Total Fat: 9.3 g
Carbohydrates: 48.3 g
Fiber: 3.5 g
Protein: 14.7 g
Cholesterol: 52 mg
Sodium: 700 mg

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