Tag Archives: sausage

Sausage & Veggie Parmesan Alfredo

 

In the warm-to-chill days of autumn, we begin to crave more hearty, filling, stick-to-your-ribs kind of foods.  Soups, stews, chilies, and pasta all sound wonderful as seasonal hibernation signals kick in.  However, you probably don’t want to already start putting on your “winter coat” do  you?  I know it is pretty socially acceptable to gain a few pounds over winter, who doesn’t?  With these filling foods, not much time outdoors, and lots of holiday treats, it is easy to succumb.

But not this time!

A lightened up parmesan pasta alfredo to the rescue!  This recipe is intensely flavorful, with lots of meat to satisfy the carnos in the family,yet packed with good-for-you veggies for vitamins and fiber.  With a homemade alfredo sauce, you get to control how much and what kinds of fats are included, and can amp up the vegetable content, to make a much healthier alternative to a frozen-bagged or restaurant meal.

simple sausage & veggie alfredo

This recipe takes about 20 minutes, and serves 2-4.  If you don’t have the specific vegetables mentioned, feel free to substitute any kind you like, as long as you try to keep at least 2 cups’ worth.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sausage links (or loose)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 small eggplant, diced
  • 1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 bunch kale, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 pound pasta (save 1 cup of cooking water)
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 2-4 tbsp. butter

simple sausage & veggie alfredo

Step 1: In a frying pan, cook your ground sausage or links until browned, and pour off any excess fat. Add the potates first and cook with a lid for 10-15 minutes.

simple sausage & veggie alfredo

Step 2: Add the rest of the vegetables, in order of firmness/needed cooking time, and continue until all veggies are added and beginning to soften. Meanwhile, boil and drain the pasta.

simple sausage & veggie alfredo

Step 3: Add the pasta, water, parmesan, milk, and butter, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce coats the noodles and thickens.

simple sausage & veggie alfredo

Serve and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Sausage & Kale Stew

 

Last week, a terrible thing occurred.

No it has nothing to do with upcoming elections. It wasn’t weather related. Everyone I know and love is just fine. (as far as I know.)

My Crock Pot broke.

It was in the sink with dirty dishes, and one thing lead to another, somehow in the mountain of dishes the crock got split right down the middle. The lovely workhorse of my kitchen, and it’s hardy ceramic bowl was now split in twain, to be used no more. I was heartbroken to say the least.

Any reader of the blog knows how in love with my slow cooker I am. This thing is amazing, making my life so much easier by preparing dozens, even hundreds, of slow cooked meals for me while I work or play or do whatever somewhere else. Then we come home to a house that smells amazing and a hot and healthy meal.

Though I will of course replace my crock as soon as humanly possible, I dedicate this post to the crock pot, as its last documented meal prior to fatal injury. May your crock last many years more.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head kale, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound sausage, cut in slices or ground
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • Optional: parmesan cheese and rustic whole grain bread

IMG_8984

Step 1: Rinse and tear the kale into pieces and place in the slow cooker. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add those. Open the white beans and either dump it all in or rinse them first then add to the crock pot. Add in the water or broth to your desired thickness.

IMG_8987

Step 2: Brown the sausage quickly in a frying pan, and add to the crock pot. At this point you can add any spices you want such as garlic, onion, paprika, rosemary, etc. Set on high for 4-5 hours or on low 6-8 hours and let it cook.

IMG_8988

Honestly, this really only needs heated through to be eaten, but the longer you let it stew the more the flavors meld and the broth thickens to become more stew-like and less soupy. Up to you how long you want/need to wait.

IMG_8989

This is amazing on its own, or you can serve it with some nice thick bread on the side. This makes plenty for about 4 servings, and you can of course double or halve it to your needs.

 

Slow Cooker Sausage & Kale Stew

Slow Cooker Sausage & Kale Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 head kale, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound sausage, cut in slices or ground
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • Optional: parmesan cheese and rustic whole grain bread

Instructions

  1. Rinse and tear the kale into pieces and place in the slow cooker. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add those. Open the white beans and either dump it all in or rinse them first then add to the crock pot. Add in the water or broth to your desired thickness.
  2. Brown the sausage quickly in a frying pan, and add to the crock pot. At this point you can add any spices you want such as garlic, onion, paprika, rosemary, etc. Set on low for 4-5 hours or 6-8 hours and let it cook.
  3. Honestly, this really only needs heated through to be eaten, but the longer you let it stew the more the flavors meld and the broth thickens to become more stew-like and less soupy. Up to you how long you want/need to wait.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.budgetepicurean.com/comfort-food/slow-cooker-sausage-kale-stew/

 

Jambalaya

 

Jambalaya is a Creole dish originally from Louisiana. It’s creation was a combination of French and Spanish influences in the deep South of America, and is closely related to the Spanish paella.

The basis of any Jambalaya is meat(s), vegetables, and rice simmered in some sort of stock. Some versions of Jambalaya add tomatoes for “red Jambalaya”, while others do not and rely on meat drippings for a brownish color. The accepted classic version cooks meat, typically chicken, sausage, and/or shrimp with celery, onions, and bell peppers. Then tomatoes and possibly other vegetables are added, and finally equal parts rice and chicken stock, and simmered until cooked.

According to Wikipedia, “Jambalaya is differentiated from gumbo and étouffée by the way in which the rice is included. In these dishes, the rice is cooked separately and is served as a bed on which the main dish is served. In the usual method of preparing jambalaya, a rich stock is created from vegetables, meat, and seafood; raw rice is then added to the broth and the flavor is absorbed by the grains as the rice cooks.”

This dish is absurdly simple to cook, you just need to have the right ingredients and the patience to let them cook slowly so the flavors can develop and meld. I had bought some chicken breast and shrimp on sale, and had two sausages in the freezer, so of course Jambalaya was just begging to be made. It is possible to make a vegetarian Jambalaya, and you can include only one or two of the meats, or any other kind you prefer; the basic recipe and method is the same.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sausages, sliced
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 1 cup shrimp, deveined
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup white or brown rice
  • 2 tbsp Cajun/creole spices if you have it
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies

IMG_4726

Step 1: Dice up the celery, peppers, and onion and put in a pot with a few tbsp butter. Saute until soft.

IMG_4727

Step 2: Add in the meats, cover and let cook until the shrimp is fully pink, the sausage is browned, and the chicken is completely white.

IMG_4728

Step 3: Add in spices and canned tomatoes, simmer covered for 5-10 minutes.

IMG_4770

Step 4: Add 1 cup raw rice and 1 cup chicken stock, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. When the rice is cooked, it’s ready.

IMG_4771

Jambalaya is a filling, delicious meal with complex flavors from all the various vegetables and meats cooking together.

You can shorten cook time by cooking the rice separately and pouring the red jambalaya over the rice. This dish can also be made in a slow cooker to save you time. Just add all the ingredients, and cook on low for 4-6 hours. The end result should be similar.

Souppa like Zuppa Toscana

I still had some sausage left over from my sausage gravy & biscuits, plus half a bunch of kale that hadn’t been made into kale chips. (If you’ve never tried kale chips, I definitely recommend it! Kale is super good for you but can be bitter, and this is a super simple way to get your leafy greens). A quick internet search for “sausage and kale” quickly showed a trend towards this “Zuppa Toscana” that Olive Garden makes (don’t sue me please!) that lots of people claim to mimic.

Well as any loyal reader knows, I’m not a ‘by-the-book’ recipe follower, so I just took the general idea and ran with it. What happened was a simple, delicious soup that quite frankly surprised me with how tasty it was. With really only 4 ingredients and 30 minutes, a warm, filling and complex soup for dinner can be yours!

Ingredients:
1/2 pound sausage
1/2 bunch kale, shredded
2-3 large potatoes, diced
6 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
3 tbsp cornstarch
Italian seasonings

Step 1: Brown the sausage in a frying pan. Drain most of the fat and set aside.

Step 2: Dice the potatoes into thin wedges. There’s no right or wrong way really. Most copy-cat recipes use redskins but I only have russet so those will do. Drop them into a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until soft when poked with a fork.

Step 3: While the potatoes boil, rip the kale into bite sized pieces, discarding the stems. When the potatoes are soft, drain and put back into the pot.

Step 4: Add water, bouillon, seasoning, kale and sausage. If you’re on a super budget the spices and bouillon aren’t required, just kicks up the flavor a notch. If you’re flush with cash, try adding half heavy cream and half chicken stock to make a creamier base soup. Of course, if you’re rolling in Benjamins you could also just go out to Olive Garden for dinner tonight…and we should be friends. Email me k?

Step 5: Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes. In a cup, combine some hot soup water and the cornstarch and mix. Once it’s all dissolved add it to the pot. This will help it to thicken. Also not completely required, but I like a little body. You could use flour for the same purpose.

The flavors combine beautifully into a rich soup that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would definitely make this again. If only I had some salad and bread sticks to go with it.

Sausage gravy & biscuits

 

If you asked my family if ever they thought they’d see the day where I not only willingly ate sausage gravy and biscuits, yet alone cooked it myself, they would call you crazy.

For the longest time I was very against sausage in any form; ground, patties, links. Well, I’m living proof that tastes change over time. The more times I tried sausage gravy & biscuits, the more I liked it. However, I am also aware that commercial gravy is horrific for you. I had a can of biscuits in the fridge and sausage was on sale $3/pound at my farmer’s market.

I couldn’t resist buying a nice, fresh ground pound of sausage and trying my hand at this artery-clogging breakfast favorite. Turns out, it is actually quite easy. I did cheat and use canned biscuits rather than make my own. But the gravy is more art than science, use your own judgment and tastes when adding milk and flour to make it the consistency you want. You could also use cornstarch to thicken it rather than flour for a gluten-free option.

Pro tip: this sausage gravy would be great over just about any meat or grain, like chicken and mashed potatoes, or ham and rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 can biscuits
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • Salt & pepper

Step 1: Brown the sausage in a frying pan. Once fully cooked, remove the sausage, drain the fat and set aside.

Step 2: Bake the biscuits in a 350 oven for 10-12 minutes.

Step 3: Add the flour to the pan you cooked the sausage in, slowly whisk in the milk. Add all the milk, and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4: Add the cooked sausage back in and mix well. Pour over warm biscuits and enjoy!

Sausage gravy & biscuits

Sausage gravy & biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 1 can biscuits
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Brown the sausage in a frying pan. Once fully cooked, remove the sausage, drain the fat and set aside.
  2. Bake the biscuits in a 350 oven for 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add the flour to the pan you cooked the sausage in, slowly whisk in the milk. Add all the milk, and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the cooked sausage back in and mix well. Pour over warm biscuits and enjoy!
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.budgetepicurean.com/less-than-5/sausage-gravy-biscuits/
I can feel my taste buds cheering, and my arteries crying…

Shepherd’s Pie my way

.
As you can see in a post prior to this, I had recently made a large amount of mashed potatoes & cauliflower. I had quite a bit left over, so I was browsing some of my favorite recipe web sites for ideas. I wanted to make pierogi (I am slovak & polish you know) but I was out of eggs (used my last one in my breakfast BELT recipe!) so I couldn’t make the dough.
.
Then I stumbled across this recipe for “Italian Irishman’s pie” on Allrecipes.com. It used sausage instead of beef in shepherd’s pie. Since I had a pack of Johnsonville Cheddarwurst Brats in the freezer, I figured this could work. So with what I had on hand, I pared it down to serve two (since a large amount of food almost always goes to waste) and gave it a try. It came out pretty tasty!
.
Ingredients:
2 brats, sliced thin (reserve the drippings)
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cream or milk
Salt & pepper
1/2 zucchini, diced
1/2 yellow squash, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 – 2 cups mashed potatoes
Optional: 2 slices cheese, or 1/2 cup shredded cheese
.
Step 1: Cook the brats until they’re done, put into a loaf pan.

Step 2: To drippings, add flour & brown for 2 minutes. Add water, cream, salt & pepper to taste, whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, cook until thickened. Pour the gravy over the brats.

Step 3: In the same pan, add diced vegetable. Cook until tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, squash and onion to the loaf pan.

Step 4: Layer the mashed potatoes on top of everything. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Now you have layered your sausage, gravy, veggies and potatoes. You can brush the top with some melted butter or margarine if you like.

Step 5: Bake in the oven set to 350 for 20 minutes.

Step 6: The gravy and potatoes should be bubbly. I added 2 slices of colby cheese on top and put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes to melt.

Step 7: Spoon a big helping onto a plate and enjoy! You can top with extra shredded cheese and salt/pepper if you like.

Delicious, filling and not as bad for you as you might think, assuming you used the potatoes/cauliflower mixture!