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For When the Weather Can't Decide What Season It Is...

Just when I think that spring is really and truly here, another cold snap moves in, and suddenly the windows are snapped closed, the heater turned back on, and the heavy blanket tugged up from the foot of the bed.  Overnight, it seems, I went from wanting a crisp salad to something a bit warmer, heartier...something with some serious "staying power."

Those-Who-Guess-at-the-Weather are forecasting another dip in temperatures next week...if that holds true (hey, this is Oklahoma, who knows what the weather will do!), you might consider whipping up a nice, steamy bowl of this yourself:

Brat and Bean Stew

1 pkg. turkey brats (I used Honeysuckle White)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (or, if you are lucky and it is in season, use fresh)
1 15 oz. can Cannellini beans, or any other white bean, drained and rinsed (or use home cooked beans, or leftover beans)
1 large bunch kale, cleaned and with center stalk removed
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks and greens, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Cook brats in olive oil until they start to brown, then add chicken broth and cover until cooked through.
  2. Once they are cooked through, remove the brats and slice into bite sized cubes.
  3. Add the  onion and garlic to the cooking liquid. 
  4. Add the tomatoes, beans, carrots, and celery; cover and cook until carrots and celery are tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add brats back into pan, and pile the kale on top.  Cover with lid and let kale wilt for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste

I can honestly say that this is now one of my favorite stews.  The turkey brats pack quite a punch of flavor, and the white beans add a certain creamy warmth.  Since kale is one of my new favorite foods, you can bet I added some of that, too...plus some onion and garlic to help ward away the sniffles that always seem to accompany an expected cold snap.  The carrots and celery help to brighten up the dish (both in taste and appearance).   And, in case I haven't mentioned it yet, you really should use the celery greens as well as the stalks;I adore celery greens in soups and stews!  Please, please, please don't just throw the celery greens in the compost bin or (gasp!) worse yet...the trash!


At any rate, this also reheats beautifully--in case you want to keep leftovers (or freeze some) for the next cold snap.


Emily  – (March 26, 2011 at 11:38 AM)  

hey, i like your blog! i just went gluten-free a month ago, adding to my already pretty restricted diet (vegan for 7 years, for ethical reasons, GF for health reasons). it's a new and exciting challenge.

i love that you're going to focus on seasonal food! and i hope the weather starts being nicer to you and your garden. it's a very cold and indecisive spring here in boise, too.

Devouring the Seasons  – (March 26, 2011 at 8:36 PM)  

Welcome, Emily, to our Gluten Free Family! We plan to start offering some vegan recipes as well! The gardens are in the works, and the farmers' markets open in a couple of weeks, so we will be rockin' out soon.

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