A tasty, slow cooker dinner loaded with fiber and lean protein. It features chicken sausage, beans and peppers.
Immunity and COVID
I read an interesting summary of a study done on COVID, immunity and diet. Almost 600,000 people participated in this study that was done before vaccines were available. Participants answered questions on their mobile device about their diets and about COVID. They were divided into four groups based on their plant food intake – think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, vegetables oils.
The group that consumed the most plant foods were slightly less likely to contract COVID – only 9%. BUT when they were sick, they were 41% less likely to develop severe COVID (requiring hospitalization and oxygen).
That’s huge! 41% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID!!
Of course there are many variables in developing severe COVID – take ALL precautions and do not just rely on diet. But more plant foods may just give you an edge!! And we can all use all the help we can get.
So make slow cooker bean sausage stew filled with peppers, legumes, and low fat protein. Make enough for a freezer meal or two.
It is LOADED with fiber! It is an excellent source of protein.
None of the nine major allergens are included in this dish, unless your chicken or turkey sausage has some dairy or gluten or soy in it. READ THE LABEL!
Let’s talk about this sausage. The sausage you choose will affect both the flavor of this dish as well as the fat, calories and sodium.
Chicken sausage varies a great deal in taste. Find one you like and use it in this dish. If you do not like the taste of the chicken sausage, you will not like this dish.
The four different varieties of chicken sausages I used most recently had from 4.3 grams to 9.8 grams of fat per 100 grams of sausage.
For the same 100 grams of sausage the sodium content ranges from 614 to 1055 mg.
This is not an especially low sodium food. By rinsing your canned legumes and using lower sodium diced tomatoes you can decrease the sodium in this dish. Serve with lower sodium side dishes or lower sodium meals the rest of the day.
The most time consuming part of this recipe is cutting the sausages and peppers. I enjoy having a piece of sausage, bean and pepper in most bites. But to reduce time you could cut the peppers and sausages into chunks. It would however alter the cooking time so you would have to experiment.
Speaking of cooking time, it will vary depending on whether your slow cooker insert can go on the stove or not.
If your slow insert goes on the stove
Prepare the garlic (remember you want it to sit for about 10 minutes for allicin to develop. See Episode oo3 (Quick White Beans, Tomatoes Parmesan and Parsley) for more information on allicin.)
Chop the onion or shallot.
Slice the sausage.
Saute the onion in the oil in the slow cooker insert. Add the garlic as the onions as transluscent and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the sausage. Add the tomatoes and beans.
Then as the sausage, beans and tomatoes heat up, slice the peppers.
Add the peppers and the wine.
Cook for about 2-3 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low.
If your slow cooker insert does not go on the stove top
- Prepare the garlic (remember you want it to sit for about 10 minutes for allicin to develop. See Episode oo3 (Quick White Beans, Tomatoes Parmesan and Parsley) for more information on allicin.)
- Saute the onion in oil in a small frying pan. Add the garlic after the onion is translucent. Saute for about 30 seconds.
- Place all ingredients in the slow cooker insert. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 on low.
- All cooking times are approximate due to the difference in slow cookers. After you make this recipe once, you can adjust for your slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Sausage and Bean Stew
- 5 or 6 quart Slow cooker
- 2 12-16 ounce packages fully cooked chicken or turkey sausages *
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped or one large shallot
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 4-5 large sweet peppers, cut into strips
- 4 15 ounce cans beans (red, white, black, pinto, chickpeas, etc) drained
- 1 29 ounce can diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- Cut sausages lengthwise into quarters. Slice into ⅕ inch slices.
- Saute onion or shallot in oil. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Use your slow cooker insert if it can go on the stove. If not, saute in a small frying pan.
- Add sausages to the slow cooker and let cook while you cut the peppers.**
- Core peppers. Cut into quarters (or sixths). Slice short way into slices.
- Drain the four cans of beans.
- Add the beans, peppers, undrained tomatoes, and wine to the slow cooker.
- If your slow cooker insert goes on the stove, let the ingredients come to a boil on the stove and transfer to the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 2½-3 hours, or 4 hours on low.
- If your slow cooker insert does not go on the stovetop, place all ingredients in the insert and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours.
- Enjoy plain or sprinkled with vinegar (balsamic or red wine vinegar) or avocado.
- * If the sausages are not fully cooked, lightly brown the sausages in a skillet. Then add 1/4 cup water to the skillet and cover. Cook 8-10 minutes until fully cooked (over 160 degrees). Let cool slightly, then slice as directed.
- ** If your slow cooker insert does not go on the stove, saute the onions and garlic in a pan on the stove. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker insert. Increase the cooking time to about 4 hours on high or 6-8 on low.
Recipe modified from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann, The Harvard Common Press, Boston MA 2005.
Plant-rich diet may lower odds for severe COVID-19, study suggests
By Amy Norton, HealthDay News SEPT. 15, 2021 / 3:05 AM