I look at this picture and my mind goes yumyumyumyumyumyum.
I’m frozen. Stuck. Can’t stop the yum track in my head. IT’S SO LOUD. And my eyes are starting to glaze over. It’s like what the blue screen of death does to computers but it’s just, like, in my brain.
This weekend was phe-nom. Anyone else feel that way? I got a lot of work done but also took some time off for a date with Bjork and a nice long-for-me run. Picture proof on Insty. Also – I got to meet Cookie and Kate, er, Kate, which was so fun, because her blog is amazing and she’s adorable and next time I’m going to make her bring Cookie, too.
Something weird happened this weekend: the sun came out. And it was actually so so nice out, after the most brutal winter, it people were actually spending time outside, I mean like in the out-of-doors, in Minnesota. What.
We saw kids riding their bikes up and down our block. There were people walking dogs of all shapes and sizes, including pugs which, yes, I do always stop and request a quick petting. We stood in the sun and talked with our neighbors on our front steps while their little three-year-old, who is both adorable and ingeniously bilingual, ran up and down the block, wearing glittery mariposa wings and waving her arms and gently stomping in puddles with her green plastic rainboots. It was basically the movies.
Movie titled: Life After Winter.
Life After Winter also features good food that is still really comforting but starts to hint at getting ready for shorts season. Like this sausage bake recipe with roasted sweet potatoes, fresh green kale, spicy Italian chicken sausage, and… the white cheese sauce, salty and creamy with melty strings of Gruyere. Er, wait. Shorts.
But kale, okay?
I was not expecting kale to be such a superstar in this recipe, but it was really the crown jewel of the whole thing. I think that’s food karma – include good healthy things and more good things will come back to you, and it will probably be covered with cheese. Honestly, though, the just slightly wilted taste and texture with the salty bite and melted softness of the Gruyere was like heaven to me. And roasted sweet potatoes and Italian sausage are my bread and butter, so the combo altogether was obvi comforting and delicious.
I swear, food blogging has made me obsessed with cheese.
Sweet Potato, Kale, and Sausage Bake with White Cheese Sauce – comfort food featuring a handful of pantry staples and a few super healthy ingredients.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (3-4 cups)
- 16 ounces Italian pork or chicken sausage, cut into small rounds
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 2 cups finely chopped kale
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and Italian sausage. Shake to coat in oil, let sit for a few minutes to brown, and shake the pan gently again to move everything around. Repeat until the sweet potatoes and sausage both have golden brown exteriors. Toss with the kale and transfer to a greased 9-inch square baking dish.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring the broth and 1/2 cup milk to a low boil, then turn the heat to keep it at a low simmer. Whisk the flour and remaining 1/4 cup milk to form a thick paste. Add this to the broth, whisking to keep the sauce smooth. Add 1/4 cup Gruyere and stir until melted.
- Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes, kale, and sausage in the baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.
This makes quite a bit of sauce – you might not need all of it depending on how sau-say you like things.