When I get home from ten exhausting hours of sitting behind a desk, sometimes the last thing I want to do is come home and prepare a nutritious and flavorful meal. I think many can agree with me that in fact, it’s quite the opposite. We get home from our jobs and other commitments, and we don’t necessarily have the time or energy to cook – we want something that requires minimal effort but can still make us feel good. With that said, I introduce to you The Quick Dinner Series.
The Quick Dinner Series will feature various meals that are easy to prepare, take minimal time to cook, and are a breeze to clean up. The recipes I share will not compromise nutritional value or flavor for the sake of simplicity. What you’ll find are recipes that have become healthy and delicious staples in my kitchen.
The first feature for the Series is something I threw together when my refrigerator was looking pretty bare. With no interest in heading to the store, and the only delivery service in my relatively rural area of New Jersey being pizza or Chinese food, I thought I was going to have to get very inventive (and I was a bit worried about that.) Turns out, I got pretty lucky – this recipe isn’t too “out of the box,” and it’s now one I shop specifically for.
Brown Rice Stir Fry with Spicy Chicken Sausage, Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, and Chopped Beets
Serves 2 (with left overs)
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- Chicken sausage of your choice (I like to use a full package of Al Fresco® Roasted Pepper and Asiago flavor. It gives your dish a nice kick)
- 3 cups shaved Brussels sprouts
- 2 heads broccoli, chopped
- ½ cup chopped beets
- 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook your rice in a medium saucepan until desired results. Let sit.
- Heat up the olive oil in a large pan. Add Brussels sprouts and broccoli and let cook until slightly tender, but not fully cooked.
- Add in chopped beets and chicken sausage. *If your sausage is pre-cooked, this is the time to add it in. If it’s not pre-cooked, I advise adding it to the pan first, and cooking for 10 minutes or so before adding the Brussels.
- Mix everything together and add more olive oil, salt, or pepper if necessary. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender and sausage is cooked through.
- Remove from heat and stir in brown rice, mixing everything together and letting the flavors meld.
- Remove from the pan and enjoy!
When I was younger, my mom used to take drastic measures to get me to eat vegetables like Brussels sprouts. They’re one of those vegetables that as a child, you just have to dislike. As a result, I pretty much avoided them until my 20’s, and now I eat them regularly. Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of nutrition. They are rich in vitamin K, which helps blood clot (which is necessary when you puncture your skin), and it helps bones grow and stay healthy. In addition, a serving of Brussels sprouts has more vitamin C than a glass of orange juice. As you probably know, vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system. It also helps with brain health (no wonder my mom made me eat it).
As a child, it was probably even more difficult to get me to eat beets, but now I eat them almost daily. Beets have a high concentration of folate, a complex B-vitamin. Beets are detoxifying, and thanks to folate, they also promote brain and nervous system health. They’re also good for your heart. Studies have also shown that an increase in folate decreases the risk of different types of cancers in the body.
This meal has quickly become a favorite in my household and one I would highly recommend. I live with a picky eater of a boyfriend, yet it’s something he specifically requests at least once a week. And I am happy to oblige – it only involves two pans to cook and clean. I recommend topping this with my favorite spicy sauce, Sriracha, as well as some fresh avocado.
Hope you enjoyed the first installment of The Quick Dinner Series! Did you get to try this recipe? Let me know how you liked it in the comments!