I like this recipe because it includes a “meaty” vegetarian sausage. I know. An oxymoron. A contradiction in terms. Perhaps…but this sausage is tasty and nutritious!
One sausage, for example, contains 140 total calories of which only 60 are from fat* and boasts 13 grams of protein. These sausages are made with, among other ingredients, soy proteins, wheat gluten, and egg whites and are cholesterol free. They hold up well in the slow cooker without breaking down; that is, they still have that “sausage” bite and texture after cooking on high for four hours.
With the addition of Cannellini beans, carrots, and spinach, this is a nutritionally balanced meal that is sure to satisfy you and your family. See it in my new slow cooker cookbook at Amazon.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 package Lightlife Smart Sausages Italian Style (cut into ½-inch pieces)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 onion (diced)
3 stalks celery (diced)
2 15-ounce cans Cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 cups baby spinach leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Plug in and set slow cooker to high.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned about 3-4 minutes.
Place sausage, garlic, onion, celery, beans, oregano, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Add broth and water and stir until well combined.
Cover and cook for 4 hours. Stir in spinach and cook for another 15 minutes or until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves prior to serving. For a complete meal, serve with fresh French bread or a baguette.