Slowly Overcoming Recipe Dependence

September 24, 2009 at 9:51 am 1 comment

Confession: I am recipe dependent. I have an incredibly hard time coming up with meal ideas without step-by-step instructions. Inspiration just doesn’t come to me like that. As a result, I’ll probably never make it to Top Chef. Oh well.

Anyway, this picture kept catching my eye when I flipped through my recipe binder:

photo © Rachael Ray

I read the recipe for Sausage-and-Zucchini Rice but I thought it seemed a little bland…and I didn’t want to be stuck with another boring Rachael dish. Then I did something unthinkable (for me): I altered it before I even made it! Basically, I cut down on the butter and chicken broth and added a lot more vegetables. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

The result was this delicious beauty (if I could hire Rach’s photographers, it’d be even prettier):

zucchini rice

Veggie and Sausage Rice (serves about 6)

Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups rice
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, casings discarded
2 zucchini, cut into small cubes
1 carrot, cut into small cubes
1 celery stalk, cut into small cubes
2 mushrooms, cut into small cubes
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and rice. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

While the rice cooks, grab a large skillet. Over medium heat, cook and break up the sausage into small pieces until it is cooked through. With a slotted spoon, move the sausage to a paper towel lined plate.

Add the zucchini, carrots and celery to the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. Return the sausage to the skillet and add the corn and mushrooms. Cook until heated through.

If you skillet is big enough, you can mix the rice with the vegetables right in the skillet. Otherwise, serve the rice in bowls and then serve the vegetables and sausage on top.

Enjoy! Hopefully there are many more “recipe independent” meals in my future.

This recipe could easily be made vegetarian by omitting the sausage, using vegetable broth instead of chicken and cooking the vegetables in vegetable oil. However, I had sausage in my freezer…and felt like cooking meat :)

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1 Comment

  • 1. Cycling_Chef  |  September 25, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! I find no shame in using recipes from someone else’s test kitchen after too many dud meals from trying to invent my own. There are many creative chefs who publish their masterpieces which we can make our own.


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