I know I’m probably the millionth person to say this, but I seriously love kale. Plus I’m always a fan of superfoods that are great for you and super versatile as far as recipes go. From smoothies to quiche to stir fry’s and salad bowls, the possibilities can seem pretty endless for kale lovers like me. Not to mention it’s usually a fairly affordable item. Just yesterday I bought 2 bunches for $4, and they were stupidly huge.
Like, almost unnaturally large…especially for organic kale, but hey I won’t complain about a deal! I have one bunch washed, cut, bagged and frozen for a quick smoothie with the remaining fresh bag in the crisper for salads and the like.
Since I’ve always been very keen on penny pinching in any way that I can, kale has definitely become a staple grocery item for me in the past few years. When I score a deal like I mentioned above, it will last me about 10 days. Which works really well for us. I turned my boyfriend onto kale a few years ago, and as an avid smoothie drinker he’s always extra thrilled when there’s some in the freezer for him. It was a few years ago in our old, tiny apartment in the city that I found myself on a pretty strict budget for groceries. I was in between jobs and determined to cut costs in any way I could while still eating healthy.
I came to the conclusion I would have to rely on all the overlooked stuff that had been sitting in my freezer or cupboards to create our meals. That combined with a very modest budget for a few token fresh items, would just have to do. And I really do mean modest, the first time I made this I bought 1 red pepper, 1 small onion and a small bunch of fresh sage. I went into this recipe with an “everything but the kitchen sink” mentality, and over the years I’ve finally created a formal recipe for the combinations I enjoy the most.
Below is a version that I make the most regularly as it features a lot of my favourite cooking ingredients, mixed with items I typically keep in the house. Regardless of what version ends up on the table, it remains one of my boyfriends most loved meals. If he ever walks into the kitchen while I’m prepping he always gets adorably excited.
Are we having the sausage kale thing for dinner?!
I’m always grateful for his food reviews, if we didn’t live together I would only have myself as a critic which wouldn’t work out so well. This would be a blog comparing my nightly grilled cheese and soup dinners. Which is sad I know, but I swear I could (and would) live off grilled cheese if left to my own childish devices.
So without further adieu, the “Sausage Kale Thing”! As always please leave me a little note if you try this out and what variations you add!
Easy Quinoa, Kale & Sausage Bowl
Prep Time: 15 Min ⇒ Cook Time: 20 Min
2-3 large sausages* (pork, turkey, veggie all work. I typically use hot Italian sausages for a kick, but that is up to you!)
2 – 3 bell peppers, chopped and rinsed. Try to get all different colours for variety.
1 lemongrass stalk, finely grated
1 clove of minced garlic
1/4 stick of butter
1 – 2 fresh sage leaves, cut into small pieces. I use small kitchen scissors.
1 1/2 cups of loosely chopped kale, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup of quinoa, I use organic red
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sunflower oil (may sub coconut, vegetable, sesame, olive)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400° F
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil, folding up the edges slightly to stop greasy spilling onto the sheet too much.
- Arrange the sausages a couple inches apart, and place on the middle rack for 30 min. Turn once halfway through.
- Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.
- Once the water has boiled, add the quinoa and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10-15 minutes, then remove from heat add balsamic and oil, toss and set aside.
- While the sausages and quinoa are cooking, bring the butter to a light simmer with the grated lemongrass and minced garlic in a deep pan or wok over medium heat.
- As the butter starts bubble, add the chopped sage.
- As the sage softens and the garlic begins to brown, add the peppers and stir to coat fully in herbs and butter.
- The sausages should now be be cooked all the way through, remove from the oven and set aside. Feel free to leave an additional 5 minutes if necessary.
- Stir the pepper herb mix occasionally until the peppers have softened.
- Once the peppers are more or less cooked, add the kale and stir to coat.
- While the kale is cooking, retrieve your sausages and cut them into bite size pieces. Aesthetic and size consistency are not hugely important, just so long as it’s easy to eat with a fork.
- Add the sausages pieces and quinoa to the wok, toss together.
- Season with salt and pepper, serve in bowls and enjoy!
Since this recipe of mine has had so many guest ingredients over the years, I thought I’d share a few below just to show you how versatile this can be!
Dee’s Add-Ons and Subs
- edamame (out of the pods)
- red wine vinegar
- rosemary balsamic reduction
- Italian seasoning
- chopped onions (I’ve used red, cooking, white, pearl, green, vidalia, etc)
- grated ginger
- raspberry vinaigrette
- sesame seeds
What have you guys tried adding in? Comment below 🙂