Believe it or not, school days are right around the corner! Since my petition for six more weeks of Summer seems to have been turned down, I guess it’s time to start thinking about easy slow-cooker meals that will make my busy Fall evenings a little bit more relaxed. Slow Cooker Potatoes, Sausage and Sauerkraut is one of the easiest meals I know how to make, but it fills the house with a savory smell and really delivers when it’s time for dinner!
Slice up some organic Yukon Gold potatoes, sweet onions, and nitrate-free organic sausage. The Yukon Gold potatoes are higher in nutrients than russets, and have a more flavorful taste…perfect in a dish that really features the potatoes. I like to use Walla Walla or Sweet Vidalia onions for this dish, because the onions play a big role in the meal and the taste works through the potatoes…the combination of sweet onion and hearty gold potatoes is really good! You might be wondering about cooking with sausage, which has (rightfully, in many cases) earned a bad rap among real-food enthusiasts. The thing to be aware of is that not all sausage is created equal! Traditional sausage is full of nitrates, chemical preservatives, and meat from questionable sources. These “meat products” are so far removed from real food that they really don’t deserve to be called food at all. However, you can still enjoy the spicy, savory goodness of sausage without all the scary ingredients! Look for organic, nitrate free and uncured meat products. These taste great, but have ingredients that you’ll recognize and can pronounce. Check local butcher shops for homemade sausages…our locally owned supermarket has a great meat department that makes their own sausages, and they just contain meat and spices. We are lucky enough to even have some family members who make their own delicious sausage from scratch! These are a far cry from the meat-and-chemical tubes you might first think of when you hear the word “sausage.”
Just layer the sliced onions in your crockery first, then press some organic garlic over them. Next, layer the thinly sliced potatoes on top of the onions. Finally, toss the sausage on top. You can easily do this the evening before, set it in the fridge, and then put it in the electric part of the slow cooker and plug it in before you leave in the morning. You really don’t need to add any other spices or salt, because the flavor of the onions cooks up through the other ingredients while the flavor of the sausage cooks down through them. So easy!
When you’re ready to eat, just stir in some sauerkraut (here’s how to make it at home). Naturally fermented sauerkraut is full of healthy enzymes that are destroyed by high heat, so I like to let the meal cool off a bit and then carefully stir in the sauerkraut rather than cooking it together with the other ingredients. That’s it! So easy, and so delicious. I like to serve it with some fresh sliced tomatoes or a big salad, but it’s pretty much a meal all by itself. I may not be 100% sure how I’m going to juggle the busy autumn evenings that are coming up, but I do know at least one delicious and healthy meal that will be ready for us to eat when we’re finally able to sit down for dinner!
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