Spinach Salad with “Sausage” and Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Potatoes

by Marsie

I am attempting to be more adventuresome when it comes to my protein sources. While I love beans, fish-related-meats, eggs, cheese, and other forms of dairy, there is a reason for the saying “variety is the spice of life;” it is time for a little variety.

First off, I enjoy the taste and texture of meat; but I have issues with the production process, what is being fed to the animals, how the meat is preserved, etc. So, I try to reduce the amount of meat I eat and have been researching going vegetarian. Fortunately, I also enjoy vegetables and many other non-meat types of food. It is hard to miss meat when I am eating a black-bean burrito with avocado and salsa.

The first experiments for new protein sources have been with tofu. As I have stated in the past, my relationship with tofu is ever in flux. At this point, there is only one tofu recipe I find myself repeating (though I have enjoyed other tofu recipes) – the cumin-rubbed tofu. I admit my tofu experience is a novice, so I am always open and willing to trying new recipes with tofu.

With tofu experiments already touched upon, it is time to add a little variety to my life, and branch into the realm of meat substitutes. Ironically, the choice I incidentally made for a sausage substitute was a tofu based product. I came home from the grocery store with Tofurky Italian Sausage -  Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil.

Tofurky Italian Sausage -  Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil. Though higher in sodium content then I prefer to intake, sausage tends to be high in sodium anyways. A lady at the Trader Joe’s recommended this sausage, giving me the last push I needed to attempt the product. I prepared the sausage in a skillet, with a little olive oil, over medium-high heat. To accompany the sausage, I roasted potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Everything was served over a bed of spinach and topped with a homemade balsamic-lemon-Dijon dressing.

Results (my thoughts): The Tofurky sausage has a decent flavor. Though I enjoy sun-dried tomatoes, I think I prefer for them to be an accompanying flavor over a dominant flavor, as they are in the sausage. No regrets with the purchase; however, next time, I will look for a vegetarian sausage with a more peppery or kielbasa flavoring.

Still eating meat? Replace the vegetarian/vegan sausage with real sausage.

Spinach Salad with “Sausage” and Roasted Garlic Potatoes

Inspired from For the Love of Cooking

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tofurky Italian Sausages – Sun dried Tomato, ¼”-½” slices
  • 6 vine ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of baby potatoes, quartered with skins
  • 1 cup mushrooms (like cremini), quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic (leave skins on)
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 oz of fresh spinach
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange tomatoes, onion, potatoes, mushrooms and garlic cloves (still with skins attached) on a baking sheet, drizzling with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper (to taste).

Roast for 30-35 minutes. Potatoes will be tender and skill will easily remove from garlic cloves.

In the meanwhile, prepare dressing recipe below.

With 5-10 minutes left for roasting vegetables, sauté the sausage slices in a little olive oil over medium-high heat until browned on both sides.

Take vegetables out of oven and remove skins from garlic cloves. Serve vegetables and sausage over a bed of spinach and drizzled with Balsamic-Cider-Dijon dressing (below). Optionally, sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese.

Balsamic-Cider-Dijon Dressing Ingredients:

  • ½ lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil*
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

Whisk together ingredients, salt and pepper to taste.

*I tend to skip the olive oil, since I am generous in applying olive oil to the roasted vegetables and sautéed sausage, and love vinegar.

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