Inspired by a request from friends recently turned vegan, I decided to combined some of my favorite “healthy” items including brown rice, garlic, swiss chard, and the amazing Italian sausages from Seattle’s very own Field Roast. (source: Costco, Whole Foods, QFC)
This dish is approved by several local carnivores, mostly due to the nutty texture of the rice, sweetness from the chard and softened roasted garlic, and realization that meat substitutes only disappoint if you expect them to taste 100% like meat.Step 1: Pan Roast Garlic & Chard Stalks
Dice the garlic and toss it into a pan with olive oil, leaving it on low while you prep the chard stalks. Separate the ruby red stalks (photo right) from the leafy greens. (Instructions available in this video.) Dice the stalks and toss them into the pan with the garlic. Leave at a low temperature, stirring occasionally for ~15 minutes.
Step 2: Cook Rice
Once the garlic turns a golden color and the chard stalks are softened, add in water & brown rice (2c H20 for 1c Brown Rice), bring to a boil, stir, and reduce to a simmer until rice is cooked (~30 minutes). For higher-protein, substitute brown rice for quinoa (1.5c H20 for 1c quinoa; bring to a boil, stir, and reduce to a simmer for ~15 minutes.)
Step 3: Cook Chard Leaves
Sauté the sliced chard leaves with a olive oil and salt until desired tenderness. Remove leaves from pan, reduce remaining liquid for finishing sauce. Non-vegan but still-healthy option: combine liquid with plain yogurt to make a creamy sauce.
Step 4: Sear “Sausage”
Take your preferred flavor of Field Roast sausages (photo: Italian Sausage), slice into medallions, and sear until a golden brown. I found my cast iron pan delivers the best results with minimal oil.
If you find that you really dislike fake meat and have given up on trying veganism, substitute with real sausage or complain to the gorilla in this post.