Monday, October 27, 2014

Sausage and Kale...for Days!

-- From UrbanDictionary.

I'm not normally a "for days" kind of person, especially when it comes to food*.  But once I stumbled onto this combination?

Sausage and Quick Braised Kale | Cheesy Pennies

I was hooked.

It's this crazy, easy mix of spicy, hearty sausage and quickly braised kale.  I literally eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  With eggs, rice, pasta, soup or just in a bowl for a snack.  It's scarily healthy, since you use lean turkey sausage and cook out nearly all of the fat.  Then there's kale, the perfect slightly bitter foil for the salty warm sausage.  Kale is ridiculously good for you of course, but you'll forget all that once it soaks up the lemon juice and all those spices and becomes tender and delicious and perfect.

Yep. I got killer meals FOR DAYS, people!

Sausage and Kale with Brown Rice | Cheesy Pennies

Of course, it may last that long because my husband won't touch the stuff**.

Dad wants to eat the lawn | Cheesy Pennies

Quick Braised Spicy Sausage & Kale

by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • 1 package (20 oz). spicy turkey Italian sausage (I love Jennie-O brand)
  • 1 bag (or large bunch) Tuscan kale (Trader Joe's has it in the produce section)
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • splash of white wine (optional)

Prep the kale by washing, patting dry, and removing any of the thick stems. Chop into rough pieces about an inch or so across. No need to be exact or fussy about it. Set aside.

Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Using a sharp knife, cut each sausage link open lengthwise, then turn the sausage out of the casings into the pan. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently break the meat up as it cooks.

When the sausage is nearly cooked through, add all of the kale into the skillet. It will seem like a lot, but will soon wilt with the liquid in the pan. Stir and continue cooking until the kale has softened and the sausage is completely cooked.

Lower heat to medium, and squeeze the lemon juice over the skillet, using a strainer to catch any seeds. If you have a bottle of white wine open, splash a little of that on top, too. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, and you're done!

Use immediately, or transfer the mixture to a storage container and keep in the fridge until you need it. Be sure to keep all the liquid, too. That way, when you reheat, you won't need to add any additional oil.

I usually double the recipe and make a big batch every Sunday for the week.

Serving suggestions:

Breakfast - scramble with eggs or egg whites, adding chopped fresh tomato if you like.

Lunch - Heat up and stir into steamed brown rice or quinoa, along with some tamari or regular soy sauce. Top with fresh chopped scallions. Or, make healthy fried rice, by stir-frying the sausage mixture, cooked brown rice, some sliced bell peppers and soy sauce along with an egg white until toasty and tasty.

Dinner - Cook your favorite pasta, reserving a little of the pasta cooking water. Reheat sausage mixture in a skillet, and add to the finished pasta. Stir in some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the reserved pasta water to form a delicious sauce.

Soup - Heat up homemade or store-bought chicken broth. Add cooked lentils or canned cannelli beans, and some of the kale/sausage mixture. I like to add a spoonful of tomato paste and/or some canned chopped tomatoes and a pinch of oregano or thyme. Serve with or without some grated Parmesan cheese and red chili flakes for garnish.

Snack - Zap a cupful in the microwave.

* I literally loathe leftovers.
** He is not alone in his prejudice.  He has tried to indoctrinate my daughter as well to join the boycott, and it seems to be partially working.  I've caught her her going into the container and picking out all the sausage on more than one occasion.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful, just wonderful, including all the various ways you suggestion using this!

    We love it and will share a link here on our social media pages so everyone can see your recipe.

    --Your friendly Southern California farmers at Cut 'N Clean Greens