(Makes about 6 generous servings, recipe adapted from Thanksgiving Wild Rice at the Food Network.)
2/3 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
3 cups plus 1/2 cup chicken or turkey stock, homemade or canned (divided)
2 Tablespoon olive oil or butter (or less, depending on your pan; use olive oil for South Beach diet)
1 (12-ounce) package ground pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean 50% less fat pork sausage but turkey sausage would be great too)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves (or use 1-2 teaspoon dried thyme)
12 ounces crimini, shitaki or white mushrooms, stems removed and coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
fresh ground black pepper to taste
In saucepan combine wild rice and 3 cups stock.
Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender, about 60 minutes (or longer if the rice has been stored for a while).
Rice should be tender to the bite with some grains starting to break apart when it's done.
Dump rice into colander and let it drain well.
Begin preheating oven to 350ºF.
In medium sized frying pan, cook sausage until it is lightly browned.
(I sometimes use a potato masher to break the sausage into small pieces as it cooks.)
Drain off any excess fat and add sausage to the cooked rice.
(If you don't have reduced fat sausage, you can put the cooked sausage in a fine-mesh colander and rinse with very hot water to remove some of the fat.)
Put drained rice and sausage into a mixing bowl.
Wipe out pan with a paper towel if there is a lot of fat, then heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter, add onions and cook on low until starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the chopped thyme and cook 2 minutes more.
Add thyme/onion mixture to the rice.
Add more olive oil or butter to frying pan as needed, add chopped mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned and all liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Add mushrooms to the wild rice mixture.
Add the chopped parsley and 1/2 cup stock and season with black pepper to taste.
Transfer mixture to glass or crockery casserole dish with a lid.
Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.