In college, the weekend begins on Thursday evening, regardless of what is happening during the day on Friday. I'm reminded of this fact almost every Friday morning at my office, when the student employees stumble in wearing sweatpants and t-shirts, and spend a majority of their morning monitoring when the Friday morning bagels will arrive in the break room. Even though it hasn't been that long since I was in my undergrad career, my Thursday night celebration used to go a little differently.
A friend and I had a standing date on Thursday evenings so that we could catch up with each other, get our grocery shopping done for the week and watch our favorite NBC shows. We'd shop at the grocery store, head back to my apartment, and then one of us would be in charge of making dinner. We attempted to be both health conscious and mindful of the other ones likes and dislikes. While she made me so many things that I enjoyed, the following recipe has become a tried and true meal in my arsenal. It fits the requirements I have for a weekday dinner: fast, inexpensive and delicious.
Apple Chicken Sausage and Onions
You only need 4 ingredients for this recipe:
*Apple Chicken Sausages (4, sliced on a bias into several strips each)
*Onion (1-2 small, chopped)
*Soy Sesame and Ginger Dressing (I use Trader Joe's brand, but I've also seen different brands of it at my local grocery store)
*Whole Wheat Pasta, cooked and drained (or really any pasta you like)
Cook the onions over medium heat in a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. As they start to cook down, add a splash of chicken or vegetable broth if you have a container in the fridge (I always seem to), but if not you can ignore that step.
As the onions continue to cook down, reduce the heat and add about 1/4 cup of the dressing. Once the onions have absorbed some of the dressing and it has reduced down into a syrupy consistency, remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
Bring the heat up again and, in the same pan that you cooked the onions in, spray with a little more cooking spray; add the sausage. Let them sear on the outside.
Once the outsides have seared, reduce the heat. Add in your onions and more dressing. *There is no specific measurement for this, so I'll just say: add until it looks right!
Let the onions and sausages cook together until the sausages are heated through. Serve over whole wheat pasta.
I usually just add a vegetable to serve alongside this dinner and I'm finished! The whole process takes less than 30 minutes and is perfect for nights where I'm hungry and cranky (read: pretty much every night after work). I love the way that the onions get soft, but the sausage remains firm and the casing crisps up. The contrast between those textures is so satisfying. With the dressing going from liquid to syrup, it becomes sweeter and provides the perfect background for the other ingredients. Plus, serving it over whole wheat pasta gives the marinade somewhere to go without it going to waste at the bottom of your bowl.
See, there are plenty of things to learn in college outside of the classroom; I guarantee when you try this recipe you'll believe me!
Have you tried chicken sausages? What is your favorite flavor?
*Along with the Apple Chicken Sausages, I'm also a huge fan of the Portabella Mushroom flavor. They are really hearty and have a distinct flavor.