I'd never bought vegan Italian sausage before, so you can imagine my utter delight when I found some by sheer accident in the organic freezer section. Not only did it exist (in Alaska) but it was on sale from $6.99 to $2.99! Woot, woot! I had also bought a butt-load of kale that I wasn't exactly sure what to do with...I just knew I needed to buy it and eventually, we needed to eat it.
The combination of sausage and kale reminded me of one of my favorite dishes from my pre-vegan days. Sweet Potato, Kale and Sausage Stir-fry. So, of course I had to make it again, but this time vegan. I knew I wanted it a little more robust so I decided quinoa would be a great addition. To make it vegan, I just replaced the
beef, chicken, pork or whatever it was (I don't have a clue) Italian sausage with a vegan sausage made from veggies and grains and voila, vegan sweet potato, kale and sausage was back! And better than ever.
Sweet Potato, Kale and Sausage with Quinoa
Inspired by Guilty Kitchen
Makes 4 large servings
- 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions, diced small
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large sweet potato or yam, diced
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- 3 pre-cooked vegan Italian sausages, sliced
- 12 oz. of kale leaves or 1 very large bunch, de-stemmed and chopped
- large pinch of sea salt
- sprinkle of black pepper
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water
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Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven or heavy soup pot with a heavy lid. Next, add the chopped onions and saute, uncovered, for about five minutes or until them begin to brown. Add the sweet potatoes, garlic and thyme and saute for another five minutes or so. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the water and mustard well then add to the pot. Stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn or stick.
Okay, while that is doin' it's thang...get out your quinoa! Make sure to rinse the quinoa, it can be bitter if it's not rinsed. Spray the bottom of a small pan with nonstick cooking spray and add two cups of water as well as the quinoa. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes, covered, or until all water is gone.
After the sweet potato mixture has finished cooking for 20 minutes, add the sausage and kale over low heat. A note about the kale: to de-stem just hold the stem end with one hand and pull the leaves in the opposite direction with one swoop. Bam! De-stemmed in a pinch. By the way, my dutch oven is very large and I still had to add the kale in two batches, so don't be discouraged by this, though it may take a few more minutes. It's a lot of kale! Kale is the Plant King though, so don't be afraid of the large amount. It may seem like a lot but it really wilts down to a more manageable size. Just keep stirring and pushing it towards the bottom of the pot. Once all the kale is wilted season with salt and pepper and add the cooked quinoa. Stir to combine.
Top with diced ripe avocado, sprinkle with paprika and enjoy.