Sausage, Spinach & Sundried Tomato Couscous / Rice / Quinoa
Say hello to easy peasy weeknight dinner. Minimal effort and minimal cooking skills needed.
I made this dish originally using couscous but I realise this doesn't cater for everyone, so if you're looking to make this dish free from gluten and/or wheat, then I would recommend using rice, quinoa or even lentils instead. If you're looking to reduce your carbohydrate intake (it is January after all), then you could even try making this with spiralised courgette (you'll probably need to use 2 large courgettes for this recipe).
If you're not a fan of pork sausages or don't eat pork, don't let this stop you from trying this dish! You could use chicken, turkey, beef or vegetarian sausages, strips of cooked chicken breast or slices of fried halloumi would even work well. Everyone has different likes and dislikes when it comes to food so don't be afraid to experiment!
Utensils: Roasting tin / baking tray, large frying pan (skillet pan, wok or just a large saucepan will also be fine).
Top Tip: You could opt to use plain couscous / rice / quinoa / lentils that you prepare yourself (generally the cheaper option) for this dish, or pre-prepared microwave pouches (the less time consuming option). If you plan to re-heat any leftovers, I would recommend not using the microwave pouches and preparing the couscous / rice / quinoa / lentils yourself as generally the recommendation is not to re-heat anything from microwave pouches.
Sausage, Spinach & Sundried Tomato Cous Cous
6 Cumberland or Lincolnshire pork sausages (or 400g of your chosen sausage type / other meat / vegetarian alternative)
125g dried couscous / 150g uncooked rice (you could use white, brown or wild rice) / 125g dried quinoa / 100g dried lentils or a pre-prepared microwave pouch that serves 2 people
1 large white onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 large red pepper, finely sliced
100g chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
150g baby spinach, washed
75g sundried tomatoes, finely sliced (about half of a 280g jar of sundried tomatoes in oil)
2 tablespoons sundried tomato pesto
125g mozzarella ball, torn into small pieces
Salt, pepper and olive oil
Serves: 4 (if very large appetites, serve with a side salad)
1. If using pork sausages, pre-heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Place the sausages in a roasting tin or on a baking tray and cook in the centre of the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes, turning during cooking to ensure the sausages brown evenly. If using other sausages / meat / vegetarian alternative, cook according to their own instructions.
2. As the sausages are cooking, prepare your couscous, rice, quinoa or lentils, if you are preparing them yourself, according to packet instructions. If you have opted to use a pre-prepared microwave pouch, sit down and relax / stare at your phone for while / watch TV / read a book / do a quick workout / do a bit of life admin.
3. Once your sausages and couscous, rice, quinoa or lentils are cooked, turn the oven off and put them both to one side. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large frying pan, skillet pan, wok or large saucepan over a medium heat.
4. Dice the onion and mince the garlic, then add these to the pan to cook for a few minutes while you finely slice the red pepper and mushrooms. Add the pepper and mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
5. If you're using a pre-prepared microwave pouch, this is the time to whack it in the microwave. Heat according to packet instructions.
6. Turn the heat down to low and add the baby spinach into the frying pan, allowing it to wilt while you slice up your sausages (or whatever you have chosen to use) into bite-sized chunks. Add the sliced sausages and your cooked/microwaved couscous, rice, quinoa or lentils to the pan and stir.
7. Finally, add the sliced sundried tomatoes, sundried tomato pesto and mozzarella pieces to the pan. Stir well and continue to cook over a low heat until the cheese starts to melt. Then, EAT! Serve with a side salad if desired.
Storage: If you have any leftovers you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge before eating. Enjoy cold or hot (just bear in mind that if you use a microwave pouch the recommendation is not to reheat).