Sausage and Wild Rice, the one pan wonder – plus, The Very Inspiring Blogger

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(Sausage and Wild Rice – recipe in post)

One pan, one hour, one tasty… wait a second, this ain’t no hamburger helper! So easy to make, though, it might as well come out of a box. Except it’s tastier. And healthier.

This dish was born of a need to make a quick dinner, on the cheap, and without any effort on my part. We’ve all had those days when we just don’t have the time or desire to be in the kitchen, and this dish solves that – it takes about ten minutes prep time, and the rest is just letting it simmer. Alone. All by itself.

Even if you aren’t busy with other things, who doesn’t love a little free time? You could read a book, write a letter, watch an episode of your favorite show, call that friend you haven’t spoken to in a while (call me!)… or you could stand over the stove smelling the wondrous scent of sausage and garlic waiting just beneath the lid.

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This single pan dinner was so cheap and easy to throw together, I did it twice in three days. I rarely make the same thing twice in one week, so that really says something. Warm, healthy, and comforting – three things we could all do with a little more of.

Here’s what you need:

Sausage and Wild Rice Supper
(Makes 4 servings)

Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time: 50 min.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly diced
2-3 links of your favorite sausage (I used spicy Italian turkey sausage)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, roughly diced
1 1/2 cups wild rice or rice blend
3 cups water or vegetable stock
2 large handfuls fresh kale or spinach, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper, or other seasonings, to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions.

Using a small knife or kitchen shears, slice through the casing on your sausages. Pull the meat out of the casing and into the pan. Break it a apart with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Add the garlic and bell pepper, and cook until all of the pink is gone from the sausage meat.

Add the rice, stir to combine, and let it toast for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the water or stock, stir once, and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 50 minutes, or until most of the liquid is gone and the rice is tender.

Remove the lid, stir in the kale or spinach, and cook until lightly wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add a dash of cayenne or other seasonings if the sausage isn’t flavorful enough on its own.


The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

When I first started blogging, I had tucked away inside of me these grand fantasies of snapping award-winning photos, writing best-selling cookbooks, and making my mark as a revered food guru… who am I kidding, I still have those thoughts, hidden deep beneath my modesty. I’ve always been a dreamer.

That isn’t why I began blogging, though. I’m too rational and analytical for that. I began this bog with the thought that I could document my kitchen follies, learn a thing or two from others, and hone my own skills. I’ve done these things, but there’s something else blogging has given me, something I never really considered or understood possible.


I have met, via blogging, so many incredible people. I unknowingly set foot into a community that always has something to share, something to teach, something to give. This has been a gem to me, and is by far the best part of my blogging experience.

So when one of those wonderful people comes and tells me that I inspire them… it’s like all my dreams of grandeur are, for a moment, fulfilled. Inspiring, and being inspired – this is what blogging is all about!

Thank you so much to my friend Heather at Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes for nominating me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Coming from someone who inspires me with every recipe she writes, this means so much to me.

The rules of the award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and include a link-back
2. Share 5 (or more) facts about yourself that your readers don’t already know
3. Choose 5 blogs/bloggers who inspire you – in the kitchen, behind the camera, or in life – to pass the award on to
4. Let them each know they’ve been nominated by commenting on their respective blogs or sites
5. Post the award on your blog, listing your chosen nominees

5 things about me

  1. I used to be a bit of a movie fanatic, and I once (or twice…) ate a banana, whole and unpeeled, after watching Kevin Spacy do so in the film K-Pax. The skin of a banana can be eaten raw (primates and people alike have eaten bananas whole for thousands of years) and is quite bitter in contrast to the sweet fruit inside. Cooking them, commonly done in Middle Eastern cuisine, can mellow their bitterness. They are also high in B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. If you plan to try this, be sure to get organic bananas, and eat them once fully ripened – the riper they are, the less stringent the skin.
  2. I am a very adventurous eater (could you tell?) – as a kid, my mother’s motto was always that we had to taste something before proclaiming we didn’t like it, and more often than not I was pleasantly surprised. As a result, I love trying new things.
  3. As a kid I grew up with horses. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden, but to this day I can close my eyes and feel the sway of their back with every step.
  4. I have always had pets, from reptiles and amphibians, to hamsters, dogs, cats, goats, and more.
  5. One of my first girl-hood crushes was on Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy, of the original Star Trek series. Yep. That’s embarrassing.

And the nominees are…

  • Juanita’s Cocina – Jen is exactly the type of friend I mentioned earlier, someone I never thought I would find through blogging but am so happy to have met. Hers is always one of my favorite blogs to read, not only because she has seriously delicious eats, but because she has such a fun writing style… not to mention some serious (seriously awesome!) Texas attitude!
  • Gooseberry Mooseberry – Kat’s blog inspires me in so many ways. Her photos, for one, make everything look clean and easy. Her meals are light and bright, and her writing always informative. It seems like every time I stop by her space she has exactly what I’m needing!
  • Fork and Beans – Cara makes recipes completely gluten, eggs, and dairy free, and manages to cook and bake things you would never believe. Like Salted Caramel Donuts, or homemade vegan Snicker’s bars. She also frequently features other bloggers, and has never steered me wrong in introducing me to other like-minded foodies.
  • Flavour – Elaina always has a fresh take on things, with a focus on healthy living and clean ingredients. She recently began a 7 week challenge to be entirely processed-foods free, as well as challenging herself to eliminate all other environmental toxins that she can. Now that’s inspiring!
  • Sweet Freedom – Beth’s photography and writing are always stunning and insightful, and were the first things to draw me to her blog. The more I read, however, the more I find fabulous recipes, unique ideas, and healthy treats. I could learn a lot from that girl!

Thank you all, you’ve each inspired and amazed me. Keep doing what you do!

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23 Responses to Sausage and Wild Rice, the one pan wonder – plus, The Very Inspiring Blogger

  1. Jen @ Juanita's Cocina May 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    You are sweet enough to be a Texan. Check your e-mail. I’m sending you an onion hug.

    • Willow May 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

      Ah – I literally just squealed with excitement! Thank you so much, Jen! I can’t wait to try those onions. I will slice them, and dice them, and cook them, and I will call them George!

      Wait a second… :P

  2. Cara May 4, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    Thank you Willow!! You are wonderful and are someone who inspires me, so this is a true honor. xo

    • Cara May 4, 2012 at 6:32 am #

      P.S. I don’t have an email for you so I am writing publicly here. Would you be interested in doing a guest post for F&B? Email me at [email protected] if that is something that you would want to do. Thanks, Willow! xo

    • Willow May 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

      Wow, thank you so much, Cara! E-mailing you now. :D

  3. CJ - Food Stories May 4, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    Love the recipe and congrats!

  4. Dawnye7 May 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Outstanding recipe! I definitely want to try this one tonight.

    • Willow May 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      Wonderful, I hope you like it!

  5. Abby May 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Great recipe! Gotta love one pot wonders :) Congrats on the award!!

  6. The Sister May 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Congratulations [again!] You’re awesome, little sister. And, don’t worry, my first crush was Kojack….

    • Willow May 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      Haha – nice!
      Also, I said Bones was *one* of my first crushes. Let’s just say he’s the least embarrassing of the two. :P

  7. Kat May 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Willow, congratulations on the award, your posts and photography (and occasional off-the-wall posts, like the iron grilled sandwich) inspire me so much and it made me smile to find out it works the other way around!! Thanks so much for nominating me :D

    And I love the sausage and wild rice recipe – a recipe like that is much appreciated after a long day (minimum effort, maximum deliciousness)!

    • Willow May 5, 2012 at 2:01 am #

      Aw, thanks! And you’re welcome, you definitely desserve this award. :)

  8. From Valeries Kitchen May 5, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Yum Willow, I would totally dig into this for dinner any night. The award is well deserved!

  9. Elaina @ Flavour May 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Wow, thank you so much for nominated me, you’re so sweet! I loved reading your post. It was fun learning a little more about you and getting to see all the other wonderful bloggers that inspire you. And ps. love the recipe at the top too x

    • Willow May 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      Thanks, Elaina! You definitely deserve this award. :D

  10. Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes May 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Amazing as awlays – the pictures are absolutely beautiful!

    I Love learning more about you :)…..I totally thought about eating a banana with the skin on this weekend after reading your post, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, maybe after a few cocktails and a game of truth or dare!

    • Willow May 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm #


      And yeah, it’s weird for sure… but not all that bad. You can always take one bite and then peel the rest. :P

  11. Anonymous May 21, 2012 at 5:35 am #

    nice idea.. thanks for sharing.

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