Alright. Who knew that M&M's has 3 new peanut flavors and didn't tell me? I'm currently testing out the Chili Nut flavor. I actually saw the Coffee Nut and Honey Nut flavors as well, but in the interest of not carbing up by inhaling 3lbs of sweets, I decided to only pick up one. While coffee is a VERY favorite thing for me, I decided that I really needed to pick up the chili flavor as I recently had a conversation with a coworker about chocolate and chilis and it reminded me of a wonderful chocolate and cayenne cupcake concoction from a few years back. (Please note that at the time of picking these up, I didn't realize I could also purchase them in smaller packs, so I'll probably/definitely do that. After all, coffee is my life and honey comes in a close second!)
So basically I've spent this weekend slightly burning my mouth with a whole pound of newfound chocolate goodies. Now is the time to balance out this excessiveness with a Brown Rice Casserole that is out of this world! This casserole is so easy to pull together that you won't have any issues whipping it up to be a part of a weeknight meal. If you're really feeling daring, you can double (or triple!?) the servings and east this as a meal in itself. I'm not saying I've actually done that, but just know that if you were to do that, you wouldn't be the first.
Easy Brown Rice Casserole
slightly adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, stem and seeds removed and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 lb (3 links) hot Italian sausage
- ~5 ounces beef summer sausage
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 - 3 cups shredded cheese
- cooking spray
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 7" x 11" casserole dish by spraying it with cooking spray. You can also use a slightly smaller or larger casserole dish if you wish. Set aside.
2) In a large saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Add in the onions and green pepper. Allow to cook until they are softened and cooked through, 3-4 minutes.
3) Sprinkle in the herbs (rosemary, thyme oregano) and allow the mixture to cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the contents into a bowl.
4) Wipe out the pan and return it to the heat. Add in the Italian sausage and saute until almost cooked through, making sure to break apart the sausage as it cooks.
5) Next, add the summer sausage to the pan and allow all the meat to cook together for 1-2 minutes.
6) At this point, if there is too much grease in the pan, remove the meat and wipe out the pan again. Otherwise, just pour the sauteed vegetables back into the pan.
7) Fold in the brown rice. Mix everything together for a few minutes, until combined, and the rice is warmed.
8) Pour the ingredients into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the rice with 1 cup of cheese.
9) Bake for 15 minutes. Pull the casserole out of the oven and cover with another 1 - 1 1/2 cups cheese. Put the casserole back in the oven for another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.