Things have been so crazy since school started, and this year in general. I know many of you are probably in the same boat. We’re trying hard to make nutrition a priority since it’s slipped the shortly after the pandemic hit in March. One of the simple meals the family has been loving lately is this Wild Child Bowl, a twist on the Wild Fall Rice Bowls (vegan) I shared a few weeks ago. A delicious blend of wild rice, chicken sausage, apples, brussels, cheese, and cranberries the whole family will love.
So quick and easy it’s great for lunch or a quick weeknight dinner. All about simple and nutritious during the week because I’m already spending so much time in the kitchen and not creating recipes as planned but trying to keep these mouths fed around the clock. Cooking the rice is what takes the most time, everything else can be prepped while the rice is cooking, but you can cook the rice ahead or use a microwave rice or grain of choice.
My family loves cheese, and the love seems to have gotten stronger as I seem to be buying it more often. Even the lactose intolerant in the family have been requesting it. Apples and cheese are a perfect pair and are perfect in this bowl.
So much flavor there will be no issues with kids eating their veggies! Not to mention it fills them up so they aren’t running to the kitchen for snacks all day.
Like most of my recipes this is meant to inspire and be customized to suit your tastes and what you have on hand.
If you/ we don’t have a wild rice blend on hand you can sub brown rice, white rice, or even quinoa.
If you don’t like or eat chicken sausage you can sub tofu.
Cheese can be dairy, dairy free, or sub out for avocado.
We like to use Trader Joe’s Garlic Chicken Sausage or Applegate but also Gilbert’s Cheddar Chicken Sausage that they sell in a big package at Costco and when using that I omit the additional cheese. It ends up still providing the flavor but a little lighter, in flavors and calories.
No brussels sprouts or not a fan you can add a little kale, or often I have the sweet kale salad mix on hand (has brussels sprouts) and will add that in with warm rice and it slightly wilts.
These bowls can be enjoyed warm or cold, perfect for meal prep and making rice ahead and either enjoying cold or warming up.
Sit down and enjoy all this bowl has to offer, a little calm with all the wild and crazy in life. Even my little wild child slows down and takes time to enjoy this Wild Child Bowl!
Inspired by some of our favorite fall flavors and my kids I hope you’re family loves this bowl as much as we do!
Wild Child Bowl
Delicious and filling Wild Child Bowl is a blend of wild rice, chicken sausage, apples, brussels, cheese, and dried cranberries that is great for lunch or dinner and perfect for meal prep or a quick weeknight meal. Gluten free and customizable to be vegetarian, dairy free, or even vegan.
4chicken sausages(Trader Joe's Garlic or Applegate/ Gilbert's Cheddar Chicken Sausage*)
2apples, chopped(Honeycrisp, Fuji, Sweet Tango)
9-12ozshaved brussels sprouts
4-6ozcolby jack or cheddar cheese, cubed(Tillamook Colby Jack)
1/4cdried cranberries, craisins
sea salt and pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil, optional
Cook your wild rice blend according to package instructions, remember you can make it ahead to save time (along with everything except the apples which can be cut the same day or night before just toss with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Warm sausage in the microwave or a pan, if you like it a little crispy on the outside you can cut it before cooking in a pan.
Steam brussels sprouts in the microwave, or you can roast them in the air fryer or in a cast iron pan with a little oil.
When your rice, and everything else is done you can cut your apple. Again if you are making ahead and won't be enjoying right away store everything in the refrigerator and cut the apple as close to serving as possible or toss with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.
Divide your ingredients between 4 bowls or containers (we make this work for our family of 5 since one is a toddler, one is almost an adult). You can store if you plan to enjoy cold, or serve right away. If you want to enjoy later keep the ingredients you want warmed up separate.
Just before enjoying season with salt and pepper, squeeze with a little lemon (cut side up to prevent seeds from dropping in) and optional drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Just a few substitution ideas:
-Brown rice, white rice, or even quinoa can be substituted for wild rice blend.
-Tofu or plant-based sausage can be substituted for chicken sausage.
-Dairy or dairy free cheese can be used or avocado chunks can be substituted.
-Kale, or Sweet Kale Salad Mix can be used in place of brussels sprouts