Can I share something with you?
I suppose I consider myself a foodie. I get ridiculously excited about good restaurants. I consume cookbooks like they're novels. I wax rhapsodic about amazing ingredients. I should be in a support group for Penzey's addicts.
Everyday life is your standard picky 10 year-old eater, a ridiculously frustrating-to-feed 5 year-old with autism, and me- a mom who is generally busy all day every day with popcorn making, household, and kids and just really doesn't have time to go all gourmet before my husband gets home in the evening.
That doesn't mean I want to serve my family a box of mac and cheese or frozen pizza every night, either.
Nope, I think most of us often need a happy medium in our lives. Simple food that people will actually enjoy that comes together quickly without a lot of time involved. Good foods that will nourish our family, fill them up, and make them happy.
That's why I enjoyed this Allstars assignment so much.
A couple of months ago we partnered with Knorr Rice Sides and I was asked to create a recipe with quite a laundry list of requirements...
-It could use no more than 8 ingredients
-It had to use at least 2 veggies
-It should have a limited amount of added sodium, saturated fat, and sugar
-It should use ingredients commonly found in kitchens
-It should be a one-pot recipe
-It should take no more than 30 minutes to cook
-It should make 4-6 servings
Sounds like a pretty great requirement list for your average weeknight family meal, right?
My daughter was over the moon when I opened the box that Knorr sent me- they gave me 8 different flavors of their Rice Sides to play around with, and my kid loves that stuff.
My assigned theme was "Taste of America" and I decided to create a Red Beans and Rice Bake- my entire family was soooo happy with the results! It turned out super flavorful and was loaded with filling goodness. Even my normally picky-ish daughter gobbled it up. This one is definitely staying in weeknight meal rotation at our house!
Red Beans and Rice Bake
1 lb smoked sausage, diced
½ C onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
4 tsp salt-free cajun seasoning
1 (27 oz) can kidney beans, undrained
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (such as Ro*Tel)
1 pkg Knorr Rice Sides, Mushroom Flavor
1 ¼ C water
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Saute smoked sausage, onion, celery, bell pepper, and cajun seasoning in 12” cast iron pan until softened- approximately 5 minutes.
2. Stir in undrained kidney beans, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, contents of Knorr Rice Sides packet, and water. Cover pan tightly with tin foil and place in oven. Bake for 20 minutes.