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Sausage Fried Rice with Black Beans, Tomatoes & Avocado

This quick dinner is a good reason to make extra rice next time; made ahead and cooled, the grains stay separate, rather than clumping together. Any number of ingredients can be tossed into this one-pan meal; a bell pepper, leftover roast chicken in place of the sausage – anything goes.

Ingredients: 

canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro stems
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 fresh mild or hot Italian sausages (about ½ pound)
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups cooked, cooled long-grain rice
1 cup canned black beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 avocado, halved, pitted and diced or sliced
chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
lime wedges, for garnish (optional)

NUTRITIONAL INFO
Per serving (serving 6): 348 calories, 18.4 g fat, (6.8 g saturated fat, 9 g monounsaturated fat, 2.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 39 mg cholesterol, 32 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein, 5 g fiber. 

Instructions: 

Set a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil and cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the jalapeño, cilantro and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Squeeze the sausage out of its casings into the skillet and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until it’s not longer pink. Add the tomatoes to the hot pan and cook until they soften and start to blister. Add the rice and beans and sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir to combine everything well and cook for 15 minutes, or until any excess moisture has cooked off and everything is starting to brown.

Stir in the crumbled feta and cook for a minute, until it starts to soften and melt on the edges.

 Divide among wide, shallow bowls and top with chopped avocado and fresh cilantro, with a lime wedge on the side.

Serves 4-6.
Gluten-free (if made with gluten-free sausage)