White Bean and Polish Sausage Stew with Greens

White Bean and Polish Sausage Stew with Greens-www.thenourishinggourmet.com

By Katie Mae, From Nourishing Simplicity

Fresh juicy tomatoes, white beans, nourishing chicken broth, and slices of savory sausage are the foundation of this hearty stew. It is the perfect meal that ushers summer into fall.

My counter tops are covered in tomatoes straight from the garden. It is wonderful to enjoy them raw but when there is an overabundance they are just begging to be made into a warm dish.

Warm days are slowly giving way to fall. I love the cool mornings that hold a promise of blustery days to come. As soon as I feel a hint of crispness in the air my mind turns to nourishing soups and stews.

Simple meals like this white bean and sausage stew with greens is easy to prepare yet filling making it the perfect weeknight meal. Pair it with a slice of crusty sourdough bread spread with garlic butter (or herbed garlic butter) and maybe a side salad and you are good to go!

I love how the most basic ingredients like onions, garlic, salt, and traditional fats can transform a dish. They add wonderful flavor without hurting the pocket book and are the foundations of this stew. I prefer to use homemade chicken broth, fresh tomatoes, and beans that I have soaked and cooked myself but feel free to used canned if that is what works best for you. I try to keep a few jars of broth in the freezer or fridge so that they are ready to use.

White Bean and Polish Sausage Stew with Greens

1 quart chicken broth
3 cups white beans, that have been soaked and cooked
1/2 pound polish sausage, sliced
4 cups spinach, kale, or other greens, roughly chopped (if using kale, remove the stems)
4 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp unrefined salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and saute until almost translucent for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the sausage and garlic. Cook until the sausage in lightly browned, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, salt, thyme, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add the greens. If you are using spinach or another soft green cook for about 1 minute. If you are using kale cook for an additional 10 minutes or until soft.

White Bean and Polish Sausage with Greens
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 3 cups white beans, that have been soaked and cooked
  • ½ lb polish sausage, sliced
  • 4 cups spinach, kale, or other greens, roughly chopped (if using kale, remove the stems)
  • 4 cups tomatoes, diced
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and saute until almost translucent for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the sausage and garlic. Cook until the sausage in lightly browned, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, salt, thyme, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the greens. If you are using spinach or another soft green cook for about 1 minute. If you are using kale cook for an additional 10 minutes or until soft.

 

Easy Pan-fried Cabbage and Apples

Delicious vegetable sides are easy to make, such as this simple Pan Fried Cabbage and Apple dish.

Delicious vegetable sides are easy to make, such as this simple Pan Fried Cabbage and Apple dish.

Green or red cabbage is gently cooked with apples in this simple, but delicious side dish. I find that when you are eating cabbage (or cauliflower) when they are freshly picked from the fields, they are especially sweet and flavorful. Here, I add some sliced apples to continue to sweeten and flavor the cabbage as it cooks. It is a lovely side to go with roasted meats or sausages.

This is an example of how easy it is to vegetables in a lovely way without much work!

I love this easy side dish and have made it several times in the last couple of weeks. I think I could eat the whole pan of it myself! I first tried it out because I was looking for a way to gently encourage my youngest (she just turned four) to eat more of her vegetables. While she wasn’t happy to see her small serving of cabbage on the plate at first, once we got her to try it, she seemed to happily eat the rest of it. I believe that is because of the magic of the apples, which give a delightful sweetness to the dish.

Two additions I am tempted to try is adding either caraway seeds, as they would add so much flavor, and are traditionally used with cabbage dishes, or, to take things in a different route, to add fresh ginger. I think that the cabbage, apples, and ginger together would make a lovely medley of flavors.

I’ve been making good use of my cast iron pans lately, and they served me well in this recipe as well. If using cast iron, I would cook at medium heat or below. If using stainless steel pans (try to use a thicker pan for better heat spread) use medium to medium-high heat.

Other Vegetable Side Dishes:

Easy Pan-fried Cabbage and Apples
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • ½ head of large green or red cabbage
  • 2 small, 1 large tart/sweet apple (green, Pink Lady etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons fat/oil of choice
  • Unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. Core the cabbage, and very thinly slice it. Peel the apples, and very thinly slice it.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat fat/oil over medium heat if using cast iron, and medium-high heat if using stainless steel. Add one piece of cabbage to the pan. When it starts to sizzle a little, add the rest of the cabbage and apples, and sprinkle with a generous pinch or two of salt.
  3. Cook, stirring often, for about ten minutes, or until the cabbage and apples are soft to desired texture. If using a cast iron pan, you can also allow the soft cabbage and apples to brown slightly at the end for a lovely flavor.

 

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Japanese Cucumber Salad is a perfect side dish to sushi, teriyaki chicken, miso, and other Japanese meals! This cooling cucumber salad is a bright combination of mild vinegar, sweet coconut sugar, deep toasted sesame oil, and salty tamari (or soy sauce). It’s the perfect complement to my simple teriyaki chicken, homemade sushi, miso soup, or any Japanese food!

Eating a Japanese style meal doesn’t mean stuffing your face with white rice (though white rice can certainly be an important part of it). I’ve enjoyed reading more about the traditional Japanese food culture, which often included eating small plates of a wide variety of foods. It’s a beautiful tradition that allows a wide variety of flavors and nutrition! It was also often full of lots of veggie sides – like this cucumber one! When I take the extra time to make a simple veggie side or two, it makes the meal so much better – more satisfying and fun to eat too! This cucumber salad tastes a lot like ones we’ve been served at sushi restaurants. It has a balance of salty, sweet, sour, and umami. Yum.

I used  (#affiliate links) raw coconut vinegar in mine, which is nutritious raw fermented vinegar that is lighter than the raw apple cider vinegar I tend to use. You can use apple cider vinegar, but may want to sweeten it a little more since it is so powerful. Traditionally, rice wine vinegar was used, which is mild and perfect for so many Asian dishes. I’d recommend that as well. Also, make sure you use toasted sesame oil, not untoasted. Toasted sesame oil adds a lot of nutty flavor, while untoasted is used as a cooking oil. This is the brand I used. I used coconut sugar as we are sensitive to cane sugar, but using an organic cane sugar would work beautifully as well.

If you enjoy cucumber salads, try out this cucumber and red onion salad as well.

Japanese Cucumber Salad
 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 med/large cucumber, or two small
  • ¼ cup vinegar (rice wine vinegar, coconut vinegar, raw apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or organic cane sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
  • 2 teaspoons tamari (for gluten-free) or soy sauce
  • Optional for garnish: Toasted sesame seeds and/or nori flakes
Instructions
  1. About a half an hour before eating peel the cucumber(s) and cut in half lengthwise and seed. (Read out to seed a cucumber here.) Using a sharp knife, slice thinly into half moons. Put aside in a bowl. You should have about two cups worth.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, coconut sugar, toasted sesame seed oil, tamari or soy sauce. Pour over cucumbers, and gently toss. Place, covered, in the refrigerator, and let chill for about 20 minutes. The vinegar is the first to be absorbed by the cucumbers, but as the minutes pass, the cucumbers will pick up on the sweetness and saltiness of the other ingredients. Toss once or twice, if you have the chance, while it chills. When ready to serve, toss again, and feel free to adjust the flavors if needed. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and/or nori flakes, and serve.

 

Easy Thai Curry Noodle Soup

Thai Curry Noodle Soup

By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer

Light and flavorful, this simple Thai curry noodle soup will warm you on a cool evening. It is a perfect, frugal meal to throw together when you are short on time and is bursting with flavor.

Using homemade chicken stock adds an extra boost of nutrition to this tasty soup. Fresh stock is a frugal and easy way to nourish your family. Coconut milk not only makes your dish creamy and decadent is bursting with nutrition as well.

(Post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!) 

When buying coconut milk it is important as part of a real foods diet to know what is in your milk. Many brands contain carrageenan, sugar and other preservatives. There are a few suitable options out there. Native Forest, is an excellent brand that is organic and BPA free. Another good brand is Thai Kitchen, which is not BPA free but the company claims that their product is “BPA safe”. Thai Kitchen is more creamy and has always been my favorite brand. And check out this brand, and this one, for guar gum-free coconut milk.

Thai is one of my favorite cuisines, there is no denying that. There is few thing less satisfying for me than creating ethnic dishes at home. When you use your own ingredients you can know that your food will be free of unhealthy oils, sugars and preservatives that are frequently found when dinning out.

Homemade Thai Inspired Recipes:

Thai Curry Noodle Soup
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4-6
 
Light and flavorful, this simple Thai curry noodle soup will warm you on a cool evening. It is a perfect meal to throw together when you are short on time and is bursting with flavor.
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 16 oz vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ lb fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 tsp thai red curry, or curry paste of choice (I use this one)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of lemon grass, split
  • optional garnishes
  • Fresh basil (Thai is preferred)
  • Fresh spearmint leaves
  • Fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. In a large sauce-pot add the coconut milk, curry paste, lemon grass, garlic and ginger. Cook on low for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onions cook for another five minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth and add the chicken and sugar snap peas. Simmer for about 5 minutes for until the chicken is cook through.
  4. Add the rice noodles, turn off the heat and cover until the noodles are softened.
  5. Garnish with thai basil, spearmint leaves and cilantro if desired.