1. In a wide, heavy-bottom sauti pan with a lid, or a soup pot, heat 1 tsp. of the oil over medium heat. Add sausage and lightly brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove sausage and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to same pot and sauti onion, celery, and red pepper over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
2. Stir in rice to coat with oil. Add water, tomatoes, thyme, and salt. Place kale on top without mixing in, cover, and boil for 2 minutes. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is done. Stir in reserved sausage and cheese, if using. Cover again for a minute to let cheese melt. Serve hot.
Suggestions: 1 tsp. dried thyme can be substituted for fresh thyme. Kale (7 or 8 stems, about 8 to 10 oz.) stalks removed, washed and need to be cut into 1/2-in pieces.
Cheddar cheese is optional.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, March - April 2008