Friday, May 18, 2012

dinner: 5-17-2012: recipe for Roasted Chicken Sausage and Vegetables

I had to have a quick meal planned out for tonight.  I start teaching music lessons at 5:15/5:30 on Thursday evenings and don't finish up until close to dark, and I like to have something to eat before I begin lessons.  A lot of the time, we have something in the crockpot.  This evening, I threw together SkinnyTaste's Roasted Chicken Sausage and Vegetables.

Thankfully, I had a little extra time in at work so I was able to leave at 3:15 instead of 3:30, my normal Thursday clockin' out time.  I picked up Bella and rushed home.

Chop! Chop! Chop!  I rushed to get my veggies chopped up and the sausage thawing.  Since I was running late this morning, I totally forgot to put the chicken sausage out to thaw during the day.  Luckily, the sausage generally thaws out very quickly so I wasn't too worried about it.

While the potatoes and peppers were cooking, I cleaned up the kitchen and the living area where I teach.  After Bible Study and choir practice last night, my husband did a work out in the living room.  I guess he crashed after that (I was asleep) because when I got up this morning, the living room still looked like a home gym.  Anyway, I had to hurry up and get it back to normal before my students started showing up.

At this point I'd like to say "Honey, it's okay.  Don't worry about it!"  He will read this and feel awful about not picking up his weights and putting the furniture back, but it wasn't a big deal.  I needed an excuse to show off my brute strength, anyway.

This recipe was ready at 5:00 on the dot.  It took a little longer to cook than usual because I was trying to take pictures...  Normally it takes 35 minutes, but it took closer to an hour today. 

This meal is wonderful for when you don't have much to work with in the pantry or fridge.  All you need is a pound of chicken sausage (or Italian pork sausage would probably work!) and some vegetables.  Or you could just roast the veggies and serve them along some protein, but it's delicious if you can add the chicken sausage... the potatoes and other veggies soak up the little bit of fat in the sausage, and it's just wonderful.  *drool*

As you can see, I used different veggies than Gina did in the original recipe...  I used up what was about to go bad in the fridge.  A few bell peppers (3 medium-sized), 6 medium red potatoes, and a pint of grape tomatoes.  I was out of onions.  We definitely need to make a trip to the grocery store ASAP!

When using grape or cherry tomatoes, I throw them in for the last 15 minutes.  They get so juicy, and just *burst* in your mouth.  I can't get over how much flavor they add to the dish.

Also, be careful not to let the veggies overlap.  They need to be spread out, or you'll end up with nasty, slimy, half-way-steamed bell peppers instead of nice, charred, well-cooked bell peppers.  I've made that mistake, and believe me, I WON'T do it again.  One way to get around that is to use two baking sheets.  It gives you ample room to spread everything out.  I stick foil over them so I don't have to do a bunch of scrubbing later.  I'm all about convenience, yo!

It's 5:05 and I'm going to stuff my face eat a bite before my students arrive.  Later gators!

Roasted Chicken Sausage and Vegetables

Adapted from Gina's SkinnyTaste

Stats: Depending on vegetables, amount of meat, and amount of oil; for mine tonight, ~325 cals per serving
Serves 6

1 pint grape tomatoes
16 oz mild Italian chicken sausage (or whatever flavor you have!)
6 medium red potatoes
3 medium green bell peppers (or whatever color)
1 medium onion, pelled and quartered with layers separated (omitted because I was out!)
Note: You can also add other chile peppers (like poblano) for a smokey flavor that isn't too spicy, or any other veggie you have laying around; I've used carrots, broccoli, peppers, etc.
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary or other herbs
Sea salt and ground pepper
Cooking spray

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line your baking sheet(s) with foil and spray generously with cooking spray.

2.  Chop potatoes into chunks about 1/2" by 1".  Try to get them all a similar size so they cook evenly.  Chop bell pepper and onion into similar sizes.

3.  Place on baking sheet, taking care not to overlap vegetables.  Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and herbs (I also used dried parsley).

4.  Bake on middle rack for 15 minutes.

5.  While this is cooking, remove the casings from the chicken sausage (unless you prefer to chew through rubber!) and chop or crumble into bite-sized pieces.  Add to baking sheet and use a spoon to toss everything together.  Bake another 15 minutes or so.

6.  Add the cherry or grape tomatoes, and toss again.  Bake for another 15 minutes or until potatoes and tomatoes are cooked.  Keep an eye out so nothing burns.

7.  Serve!

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