Too Many Cooks

Help for a busy mom

Sausage & Beans from Gordon Ramsay's
Sausage & Beans from Gordon Ramsay's "Fast Food." (Jill Mead)

I love to cook. I just don't. Don't have time, really, between a full-time job, two kids, two dogs, a husband and a household of never-ending laundry to deal with. My quest? To fill my recipe box with a couple dozen go-to meals -- things that can be made in advance, or prepped early, or that simply come together in a jiffy. My only request is that they be kid-friendly and relatively healthy. I mean I loved baked ziti and all, but my waistline does not.

My current favorite, which I suspect my family is tiring of, is from Gordon Ramsay's "Fast Food." He recommends serving his sausage and bean dish over crusty bread. I've taken to pouring it over plain couscous. I slice up some Hilshire Farms smoked chicken rope sausage or Jennie-O smoked turkey sausage in lieu of the Toulouse sausages in his recipe. Also, I use canned cannellini beans instead of the mixed beans, and two cans of chopped tomatoes because I like it a litte soupier. And feel free to use dried thyme if your thyme plant, like mine, has been hammered by the recent cold weather.

I'll share this recipe if you share your favorites. Deal?

Sausage & Beans, from Gordon Ramsay's "Fast Food"

4 Toulouse sausages

2 tbsp olive oil

Thyme sprigs

2 finely sliced garlic cloves

14 oz. can of mixed beans (drained and rinsed)

14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes

Salt, pepper and an optional pinch of sugar

Crusty bread

Fry four Toulouse sausages with the olive oil and a few thyme sprigs. Add two finely sliced garlic cloves and cook for three to four minutes, stirring occasionally until the sausages are golden brown. Tip in the mixed beans, then the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and stew for 10-12 minutes. Season with salt (if needed) and pepper and the sugar if the tomato sauce is too sharp. Serve in bowls with the bread. Serves 2.

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Carolyn Lamberson
Carolyn Lamberson is the features editor and is in charge of the daily Today section, including Food, 7, Live Well and Boomer U.

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