You know what I love?

When something really delicious takes minimal effort to make. When you can throw several things together and let them simmer or hours and the end result in a dish you can eat for days and never tire of.

While perusing my favorite slow cooker source, I came across a sausage and lentil stew that not only sounded simple, it sounded PERFECT for the winter! I am a family of 1 and look for meals I can make in bulk to freeze and to enjoy over the week to minimize my time spent in the kitchen, also the amount of money I waste in the grocery store.

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With minimal tweaking, I prepared the Crock Pot Lady’s Sausage and Lentil Stew and now have a new favorite dish that I am eager to share with my family during the holiday break when we have nothing to do but curl up under flannel blankets and watch movies on Demand. This is the dish that spells comfort. Its hearty. Its simple. Its absolutely delicious.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 cup lentils

2 cups beefChicken broth

1 (12-ounce) package smoked chicken or turkey sausagespicy pork sausage, cooked and sliced into one inch pieces.

1 cup chopped carrots

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire roastedtomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

9 ounces (or so) fresh spinach (to add at the very end)

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Method:

My first order of business when it comes to preparing fresh sausage is a quick boil. I boil the sausage to get the innards cooked without drying them out. Once they are cooked, I throw them onto a hot pan to crisp up the skin. That gives them a really nice snap.

I allowed them to cool once they browned on all sides and sliced them into one inch pieces on the diagonal.

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In my slow cooker, I added the broth, tomatoes, lentils, and sausage. I seasoned with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. It might not be necessary but I enjoy a GOOD amount of salt in my dishes.

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I let the ingredients soak together the night before in the fridge and right before I left for work I put the pot on the base and cooked it on low for 8 hours.

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When I returned home, I added the fresh spinach and cranked the cooker up to high or 30 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt.

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The end result was a HEARTY lentil and sausage stew that was smoky and filling. I served myself about 1.5 cups (which was probably a little greedy) and enjoyed with a slab of crusty bread. You can serve yourself even less and pour over some rice. Brown if you’re really healthy.

I froze half of this recipe for an emergency dinner night but savored every bite of this baby! For my vegetarian friends, I would substitute some smoky veggie sausage and let this baby do its thing!

Perfect for the rainy/snowy/freezing weekend! Get a cozy blanket and let the smells of this stew put you in the greatest of moods.

Enjoy!

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