So much for healthy. This is one of those meals that keeps on expanding in your stomach hours after you’ve finished eating it. But it is so good. So comforting and earthy. It might not be the healthiest dish, but at least it’s full of good-for-you fiber. And there are plenty of ways to tweak the recipe to make it a little easier on the waistline. It’s really just the sausage that’s the problem. I think it would be just as delicious with grilled shrimp (although I would grill it separately and just add it in at the end). You can even make it vegetarian by using tofu. Just add a few extra spices, maybe fresh thyme or fennel seeds. Or, I’m sure Gimme Lean Sausage would work great too. The original recipe actually calls for Kielbasa, but I think the spices and fennel seeds in the sausage paired really with the lentils. If your meat market has real deal Kielbasa, though, I say go for it. Hang on a second. Wasn’t I trying to make this healthier? Oh well. Dig in. Think of it as training for Turkey Day.
Sausage with spinach and lentils
adapted from bon appetit magazine
1 tbsp olive oil
2 sweet italian sausages, casings removed
1 spicy italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 bay leaf
1 32oz container veggie stock
2-3 big handfuls fresh spinach
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add sausage and saute until browned and cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside. Add onion, garlic and a pinch or 2 of sea salt. Saute until onions are translucent. Add lentils and bay leaf and stir to coat. Add the broth until lentils are covered completely and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer covered (with lid slightly open so steam can escape) for about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally until lentils are tender but still slightly al dente*. When lentils are cooked, add the sausage back to the pot. Finally, add the spinach and stir to incorporate just until it starts to wilt. Season with salt, pepper and garlic salt, to taste.
*I personally like when the lentils have a little bite to them, but that’s just me. Feel free to continue cooking them to your taste.