Tuesday, January 28, 2014

{Recipe} easy slow-cooker white bean & sausage stew with spinach

I can't get enough of hot, hearty soups and stews when the cold weather sets in. I've been making variations of this recipe for years and recently tried a version without the usual onions and garlic and the end result was still fantastic. Since I omitted the only chopping you would have had to do for this recipe and since it practically cooks itself, I call this "easy!" ;)


Yield: makes about 9 (1 cup) servings

1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) dried white or Great Northern beans, soaked overnight
1 T extra virgin olive oil
9 ounces cooked chicken sausage, sliced
2 T tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 T apple cider vinegar
1-1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 bay leaves
6-10 ounce bag organic baby spinach

Place dried beans in a large bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight.

Discard soaking water. Combine beans and next 10 ingredients (through bay leaves) in slow cooker.

Cook on LOW for 8 hours. Remove bay leaves. Stir in spinach and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Since I'm from the Midwest, I'm not shy using the terms "chock full" and yes, this stew is chock full of goodness! Legumes such as white beans abound with fiber, antioxidants, folic acid, and thiamin, to name just a few beneficial nutrients. And all that before you even factor in the spinach or tomatoes. 

Each serving contains ~245 calories.

Pro Tips
You can vary the salt that you add to your taste preference. Additionally, feel free to try other greens besides spinach: I've used fresh chopped kale or mustard greens and both work nicely, but remember that these less-tender greens need to be added at the start of cooking.   

Dig in! ;)

Check out other delicious recipes from The Healthy Hausfrau:

Grown-up tuna salad

Best turkey burger 

Relishing summer salad 

Hearty banana bread 

Sausage and eggs with spinach, provolone, & basil 

Homemade granola 

Indian-spiced pumpkin soup with bacon 

Spinach, mushrooms, walnuts, & Swiss with poached egg 

African peanut stew 

Barley, sausage, & spinach with mushrooms and basil

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