Recipe of the Week - Cannelinni Bean and Sausage Soup
From Kalyn's Kitchen - so delish!
Cannellini Bean and Sausage Stew with Tomatoes and Basil
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)
2 cups cooked cannellini beans (see options below for cooking beans or use canned beans)
4 links Aidell's Roasted Garlic and Gruyere Cheese Chicken Sausage (or use any pre-cooked chicken or turkey sausage)
2-3 tsp. olive oil (use more or less, depending on your pan)
1/2 large onion, choppped
1 T minced garlic
1 (14.5 oz) can petite dice tomatoes with juice (I used Dei Fratelli organic canned tomatoes, a great product I received as a sample)
1 tsp. dried Greek or Italian oregano
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
2 cups chicken stock (I used my homemade chicken stock, but you can use 1 can chicken broth and add a bit of water)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I didn't use any salt)
1/4 cup chopped basil (I used my frozen basil, 1/4 cup purchased basil pesto would work here too)
1 T balsamic vinegar
fresh grated parmesan for serving (optional, but good)
For cooking dried beans: Whether you use the pressure cooker or cook beans in a regular pot, start by soaking 1 cup dried cannellini beans over night. Discard that soaking water and start with fresh water, whichever cooking method you're using.
To cook beans in pressure cooker: Add beans to pressure cooker with water to cover, 1/2 onion and 3-4 bay leaves. Bring to high pressure and cook 2-3 minutes (depending on how soft you like your beans.) Then turn off heat and let beans reduce pressure slowly while you prep other ingredients and simmer the base of the stew. When pressure is completely reduced, drain beans in colander in the sink.
To cook beans in regular pot: Add beans to pot with water to cover by several inches, 1/2 onion, and 3-4 bay leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook beans until soft, probably about 45 minutes, but cooking time will depend on the freshness of the beans. When beans are soft, drain in colander in the sink.
To use canned beans: Put 2 cans cannellini beans into colander placed in the sink. Rinse well with cold water, until no more foam appears. Let beans drain and use in recipe. (This is slightly more beans than the 1 cup of dried beans; you can freeze a few for another recipe if you like.)
While beans are cooking (or draining) cut sausage into half lengthwise, then cut into half-moon shaped slices. Heat about 1 tsp. olive oil in heavy dutch oven or soup pot, then saute sausage until well browned, about 5 minutes. (See note above if you're using sausage with cheese.) When sausage is well-browned, remove to bowl, then add chopped onion and saute about 2 minutes, adding more oil if needed. After 2 minutes, add chopped garlic and saute about 2 minutes more.
Add tomatoes and juice, dried oregano, dried marjoram, and chicken stock to pot with onions and garlic. Add sausage back to pot, then cook at very low simmer about 30 minutes, until flavors are well blended and liquid is slightly reduced. After 30 minutes. add drained beans and simmer about 15 minutes more. (If the mixture seems too dry at this point, add a bit more chicken stock or a little water.)
When beans have simmered 15 minutes, add chopped basil and balsamic vinegar and simmer 5 minutes more. Taste beans for seasoning and add salt and fresh ground black pepper as desired. Serve hot, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
Menu Plan Monday
A lot of bloggers I know outside of the infertility community participate in "Menu Plan Monday," where you list your menu for the week. Maybe I'm a geek, but I'm always fascinated by reading things like other peoples' menus or grocery lists. So here's my Menu for this week, starting on Monday, May 2:
Cannelini Bean and Sausage Stew with Tomatoes and Basil, served with salad for me and bread for Mr. M. (I'm on the South Beach diet, remember?)
Turkey taco salad (shell-less) for me and turkey tacos for Mr. M. Served with black beans, light sour cream and salsa.
Grilled steak (on my beloved Foreman grill), steamed broccoli and rice for Mr. M.
Refrigerated turkey breast in gravy, steamed green beans, and mashed potatoes for Mr. M.
Chicken meatballs served in tomato vodka sauce with salad, and spaghetti for Mr. M.
The hard part comes after work today - heading to the store to buy the groceries!