Sometimes, I freaking kick-ass at life.
For instance, I can menu plan and a grocery shop on Sunday – for the ENTIRE week. Weekly dinner (that wasn’t previously frozen) on the table for ALL four of us. Blow drying my hair, throwing on heels and still running our family out the door before 8am. Kick-ass at my (very full-time) job. Boys aren’t the last to be picked up from daycare. Never a backup of laundry baskets. Texting people back within 24 hours. Having diapers delivered the day before you run out. CLEAN HOUSE. And I haven’t run out of the gummy bears in my car that I use to bribe my kids to get in the car without major tantrums.
And then life throws a few curve balls and it’s more like, life kicks MY ass.
The thing is, I’m typically pretty laid back. It’s just, I’m not always a graceful juggler. And um, I have high expectations for… you know, myself.
I’m going to be very honest.
I feel a little like a super-hero when I make this dish.
I mean, it’s easy therefore I can basically juggle the other 15 things I need to do that night. And my husband has a slight obsession with this meal. No really, it’s probably the most requested meal in our house. The BONUS (super-hero material), both my kids will eat this as well, which is saying a lot! … small disclaimer, I have to pick out the kale for Mason. But whatever.
So, this was inspired by Couple Cooks original recipe a while ago and have continued tweaking and making our own version that we make all.the.time. It’s a perfectly hearty stew, packed with good for you ingredients. It’s the best comfort food.
I’m thinking I can get a few more batches in (maybe a few freezer meals) before the summer heat arrives.
Artichoke Lentil Stew with Chicken Sausage
adapted from Couple Cooks
Serves about 6
- 16oz chicken sausage – or any sausage you like
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 heaping teaspoon dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper – optional
- 1 cup of green lentils (uncooked)
- 3-4 cups water
- 1 28oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 1 15oz can quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
- 2 cups kale, stem removed and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Shaved parmesan cheese
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken sausage and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Break it apart a bit with a spatula and then let it sit until it begins to brown. Stirring occasionally, until it’s mostly cooked through, remove the sausage with a slatted spoon, place into a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and onions. Cook for about 3 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, oregano, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Mix everything together – maybe 2 minutes. Add lentils, 3 cups water, can of tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kale and bay leaf. Note – you can add another cup of water if you want a little more liquid. Bring to a boil.
Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat, add in the sausage and let it simmer for about 25 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Very important. Be careful not to over cook the lentils or they’ll be mushy.
Remove from heat (& discard bay leaf). Give it a taste test and see if it needs a little more salt or pepper. Serve and top with a little parmesan cheese and enjoy!
*dairy-free – if you don’t top with parmesan
April 11 2016