Kale with Sausage and Chick Peas


This is a recipe from the South Beach Diet Book. My good friend, Tracy served this to me in Vermont a couple of summers ago and I loved it, but I’ve never had the nerve to buy kale.  Recently I picked up a box of Baby Kales on special, remembering how much I enjoyed this dish. I followed the recipe except I used more garlic and I added some whole wheat  pasta bow ties because I didn’t think I had enough Kale.  There wasn’t a lot of pasta; I didn’t want this to be a pasta dish with kale, rather a kale and sausage dish with a side of “healthy” pasta. (Actually the whole wheat pasta was perfect because it could stand up to the heartiness of the dish.) I put the  cooked pasta in the pan with the kale and allowed it to soak up all the delicious juices of the broth. My chicken Italian sausage was quite spicy, and the kale was very tasty. We’ve always done spinach with sausage (Luigi’s Italian grandmother’s dish), but I think I like the kale better because it’s heartier, and I really liked the addition (for us) of the chick peas. All and all, a big hit.

Update:  I have made this with half spinach/half kale, white beans instead of garbanzos and still very delicious. I have also since finally bought a bunch of kale, so no longer am I dependent on those pricey boxes of baby kale to make this.


1/2 tablespoon Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound Reduced-fat sweet or hot Italian turkey sausages
1/2 Small onion, diced
1-1/2 Garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup Lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 (1-pound) bunch Kale, stemmed and roughly chopped (3 to 3-1/2 cups)
1/2 (15-ounce) can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausages and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, 6 minutes. Remove from pan and cut each sausage in half on the diagonal.

Add onion and garlic to the same saucepan and cook over medium heat until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add kale, cover, and cook until wilted and softened, about 8 minutes.

Add sausages and cook, covered, until no longer pink in the center, about 8 minutes. Add chickpeas and continue cooking, covered, until heated through, 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot, spooning any remaining cooking liquid on top.

And just for fun and memories, here are photos of the day when I ate kale for the first time in Vermont with the view of the beautiful lake.  The lake was sparkling on that day!

The kale we ate came from Tracy’s garden!

And here we are after that delicious meal!

Published in: on October 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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Sausage, Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

Sausage?  What kind of sausage is pink?  OK, I admit, I messed with the recipe again…

We’re not huge risotto fans so I worried that a “plate of mushy rice” would not pass as dinner. I considered grilling some shrimp from the freezer with the risotto as the side dish. But in the end, I decided to go with the recipe as is, but I couldn’t get the idea of shrimp out of my head. So I took just a few shrimp and sauteed them in the remaining sausage/garlic/onion/mushroom oil. I chopped them into bite-size bits and put them on the top so they could easily be tossed to the side if this was a really bad idea. BUT, the shrimp was quite good. You had enough to bite into with the shrimp bits so that the risotto didn’t seem mushy to us. But then again, the whole risotto was quite tasty. I think this risotto could be made with shrimp instead of the sausage as long as the shrimp was well-seasoned.

Another winning recipe from the authors of Desperation Dinners. Sadly I don’t think they run this in our UT newspaper anymore which is a shame because these ladies offered some good recipes that you could make in under a half hour.

Funny, the online recipe link says the newspaper article got it wrong.  It said vegetable broth. (so I used chicken broth)  Online it says to use vegetable juice! Now I’ll have to make it again some time to see what it tastes like with the V8 juice. I can’t imagine! My changes were that I added 2 cloves of garlic to the onions and I used chicken broth and chicken basil sausage rather than Italian sausage.

Recipe Article Link

And because I’ve had other recipes disappear when the link disappeared, I decided to copy and paste it right here.

Sausage, Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1 can (14 ounces) low-sodium tomato-vegetable juice, such as V-8*  ( I used chicken broth)
1 link (about 1/4 pound) Italian turkey sausage, or sausage of choice, casing removed and crumbled  (I used chicken basil sausage)
1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup finely chopped onion  ( also added 2 cloves of minced garlic)
1/2 cup finely chopped pencil-thin asparagus*
1/2 cup white wine or apple juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Place butter and oil in a 1 1/2-quart microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered on high, until butter melts, about 1 minute. Stir in rice and microwave, uncovered on high, until rice begins to turn translucent, about 2 minutes.

Stir in tomato juice, cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap (or use a lid), and microwave on high until mixture reaches a full boil, 7 to 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook sausage, onion and mushrooms in a medium nonstick skillet until sausage is cooked through. Remove rice mixture from microwave, uncover, and stir well. Continue to microwave on high, uncovered, for 5 more minutes, or until rice is almost done. (Rice should be moist, al dente in texture, but not soupy).

Stir in sausage mixture, asparagus and wine. Continue to microwave, uncovered, until rice is done and asparagus is crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cheese and serve immediately. Serve additional cheese for topping at the table, if desired.

Cooking Notes

Our Desperation Dinners newspaper column mistakenly referred to the V-8 as vegetable “broth.” What you need here is V-8 juice. Sorry for the mix-up!

They also have a Ham and Asparagus recipe  which I haven’t tried, but in case I want to, here’s the link: Ham and Asparagus Risotto

And to add to the repertoire, I also made a risotto with asparagus, bacon, and bella mushrooms. Basically the same technique — mmm– wait… I didn’t use the microwave.  I do it on the stove. Cooked the bacon and asparagus first and sauteed the mushrooms.  Set everything aside.  Started the risotto with onion, garlic and then the rice in the saucepan with bacon fat and olive oil. I added the asparagus, bacon, mushroom back in at the end when the rice was just about finished at a slightly al dente texture. Sprinkled in some rosemary, but could also use oregano or marjoram.

Published in: on October 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Apple Chicken Sausage Hash

So what do people DO with Apple Chicken Sausage?

It always looks so appealing when my local market has it on sale. But then I put it in the freezer and wait for inspiration because I really don’t know what to do with it. Probably a grilled apple chicken sausage in a bun with onions and mustard would taste great, but I’ve never tried it.

True to the serendipitous kitchen I had some stuff I wanted to use up and get out of the frig. The apple chicken sausage seemed to fit in to make it a “real” meal that’s a little different for us.

Apple Chicken Sausage Hash for 2 (tonight’s version, but it could be very different the next time)

• 1 Apple Chicken sausage (about 1/2 lb)
• 2 -3 medium sized pre-cooked red or yukon potatoes, cut in 1/4-inch slices. (this is what I wanted to get out of the frig)
• Chopped onion (maybe about 4 or 5 Tbsp depending on how much onion you like)
• 1 apple, peeled and chopped
• Red pepper, chopped (about 3 Tbsp.)
• Toasted, chopped walnuts (about 2 Tbsp)
• Chopped parsley (2 Tbsp)

Break the sausage into small pieces and brown in a medium-sized skillet. Remove sausage, but leave any grease that may be in the pan. If necessary add a little more oil to pan. Put in potato slices and on medium high heat, fry until brown, scraping frequently. Add onion and continue cooking. Add salt as needed. When potatoes and onion are fairly brown, add apple and red pepper. If this is very dry, add a splash of marsala or sherry. Put sausage back in pan and turn heat to medium. Cook until apple and red pepper get tender. In the meantime, chop walnuts and toast until golden brown in toaster oven.

When everything is nicely browned, and apples are tender, add chopped parsley and toasted walnuts. Stir and heat thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a fresh green salad.

Pretty yummy, isn’t it?

Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Penne Pasta with Chicken Sausage

MMM pasta! But here is the problem – when I have to cook, I forget to take the picture. Ev was on cookie duty so it was up to me.  And I couldn’t even use a jar of sauce – there wasn’t any! So I had to make it from scratch w/ canned fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste etc. Just a quickie but in the end how can you go wrong with pasta & vino?

Published in: on December 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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