lunchbox life: jalapeno cheddar chicken sausage, sauteed kale, and parsley brown rice

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This weekend was crazy busy, but loads of fun.  First Friday was a blast, Saturday was spent at Lake Sinclair with new and old friends, and Sunday was spent in Atlanta with my mom as we snatched up a few remnants of Labor Day sales at Lenox Square Mall.  As I drove back to Macon on Sunday evening, I realized that I had not planned anything yet for my lunches, so I decided to head to Kroger to find something that wouldn’t take too long to prepare.

I knew I had some cooked brown rice in the freezer, so I decided to find a protein and a green to complement my whole grain.  I found some Kroger brand chicken sausage links (kind of like bratwurst) that were low in fat and stuffed with jalapeno and cheddar.  Sure, I thought!  Sounds good to me!  There are five in the pack, so I knew I would have one for each day.  I grabbed a bunch of kale, an old standby (and superfood), and headed out the door.

I defrosted the brown rice in the microwave, then heated 1 Tbsp. olive oil, three minced cloves of garlic, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes over medium heat.  When I began to smell the garlic, I added the rice, stirring constantly, and let the rice soak up the garlic infused oil.  Next, I turned off the heat and added some fresh chopped parsley.

I sauteed the kale in the good stuff: 1.5 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes.  Kale takes about 5 minutes to cook down over medium-high heat.

The sausage can be cooked in a pan, in the oven, or on a grill.  I just cooked them on our flat-top grill pan, then sliced them into bite-size pieces for easy lunching.  I would definitely buy these again–they’re full of flavor, much lower in fat and calories than pork sausage, and are a great source of protein.  I’ve said this before, but I get so tired of the same boneless skinless chicken breast, so I like to mix up my lean protein!

I also packed an apple with this lunch (not pictured).  Enjoy!

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