Do you guys remember Lisa’s Chicken Sausage Veggie Skillet recipe from a couple of weeks ago? I gotta tell ya: I’ve been eating that stuff almost every day since she posted it. It’s my go-to lunch, since a big batch of it will last me 5-6 days. I haven’t gotten sick of it, because the recipe is so versatile — I just stop by the grocery store and pick up whatever veggies look good, so it’s different every time.
So today I’m going to share my favorite version with you. Well, “favorite” so far. ‘Cause let’s face it, there will probably be more.
I’ve changed the cooking directions a bit too, since over the past couple of weeks I’ve cooked a LOT of different vegetables, and I noticed that I definitely like most vegetables better when they’re barely cooked. So I’ve taken out the simmering and replaced it with something more like stir-frying. We’re gonna be cooking hot ‘n’ fast today, my friends.
One thing I did keep is the Cajun-flavored sausages. I tried a bunch of different flavors, and Cajun is by far the best. If you can find Bilinski’s chicken sausages at your grocery store, I’d recommend those; but if your store doesn’t carry them, any Cajun chicken sausage will do. Preferably ones that come in a 5-pack instead of a 4-pack, so you can throw more protein into your skillet.
Okay, here goes:
I came home from the grocery store one day with an onion, a red cabbage, a bunch of spinach, two zucchinis, and a pint of grape tomatoes.
There was absolutely no science to this particular bouquet of flavors. I chose these vegetables because their colors looked pretty together. And I went with the Cajun sausage because I already had a pack in the fridge.
I started by chopping the onion, slicing HALF the cabbage, and washing/chopping the spinach. If you need this recipe to go even faster, you could use frozen chopped onion, pre-shredded cabbage (although it’s usually not red), and pre-washed spinach. Don’t use frozen spinach, though. You want the fresh stuff.
Once I had those three things ready, I heated a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a big 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. (When you want to keep your vegetables crispy, use the biggest skillet you have so that they don’t get crowded too tightly. Crowded vegetables steam, and steamed vegetables aren’t crispy.) When the oil is hot, add the onions to the pan and stir ’em around for a second. Then leave them alone for 3-4 minutes while you slice up the zucchini.
When the onions just start to soften, add the shredded cabbage and 1 clove of minced garlic (I totally used the stuff in a jar). Stir it all up and let it sit for about two minutes while you slice some tomatoes. Or don’t slice tomatoes, if you prefer. If you’re using grape tomatoes, technically you don’t have to slice them. But I like to cut them in half. And I had a couple of minutes to kill while waiting on the cabbage.
After the cabbage has cooked for about 2 minutes, give it a stir. Then go back to slicing tomatoes, if you haven’t finished yet. Or start slicing sausage. Or find some other way to waste two more minutes.
Okay, now you can go back to the cabbage. Stir it up. For me, the cabbage would be just about perfect now. You can cook yours a little longer if you want. Right before you think it’s done, add the spinach and stir-fry the whole thing for about a minute. Spinach doesn’t take long: when it turns bright green, it’s done. If it turns dark green and starts to shrink, you’ve gone too far. Empty the skillet into a big serving bowl (or storage dish, depending on your lunch plans).
Heat another tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook for about two minutes. If you haven’t finished slicing your sausage yet, you can let the zucchini sit without too much stirring during that two minutes. Just before you think the zucchini is done to your liking, add the tomatoes and sausage. They don’t really have to cook, just get warmed up – so one minute of stir-frying should do the trick.
Then dump the contents of your skillet into the cabbage/spinach bowl, mix it all together, and voila! 10 minutes of pre-chopping and 10 minutes of stir-frying makes one quick and easy dish with more vegetables than most people eat in a week. Give yourself a pat on the back!
For your reward, I recommend sprinkling a little feta cheese over the top of your veggie-laden lunch.
But I bet Gorgonzola would be good, too. 😉
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 clove minced garlic (or 1 tsp from a jar)
- 1 onion
- ½ a red cabbage
- 1 bunch spinach
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 package Cajun-flavored chicken sausages
- Crumbled Feta
- Start by chopping the onion, slicing or shredding the cabbage, and washing/chopping the spinach.
- Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes.
- While the onion is cooking, slice the zucchini.
- When the onion begins to soften, stir in the cabbage and garlic. Cook for another 4 minutes. While it's cooking, slice the tomatoes and sausage.
- Just before the cabbage is done to your liking, stir in the spinach and stir-fry for 1 minute. Empty the skillet into a serving bowl.
- Heat another tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. While the zucchini is cooking, finish slicing the sausage.
- Just before the zucchini is done, add the tomatoes and sausage to the skillet and stir-fry for about one minute. Empty the skillet into the serving bowl with the cabbage mixture, and stir to combine.
- Serve with crumbled Feta cheese on top.