Now that everyone in our household is either working or going to school (or both), we’re always on the lookout for meals that come together quickly after a long day. I have come to depend on cookbooks like Isa Does It, Isa Chandra’s book of 30 minute meals (a must buy, if you don’t already own it!).
While flipping through it one night, I landed on her recipe for pizza bowls. We always have kale in the garden, and there’s usually cold rice and veggie sausages in the fridge, so it was really just the sauce to be made. To my surprise, the sauce recipe was very close to the vegan cheese sauce we use for nachos, and I just happened to have some left over in the fridge.
The major difference between the two sauces was the addition of tomato paste, so I threw a couple of cubes of frozen tomato paste in with it, thinned it with a bit of water, and hey presto, cheesy pizza sauce!
This is the kind of bowl that you could easily fiddle with to include your favourite pizza toppings, but we stick pretty close to the original. You know you’ve hit on a winner when your 19 year old son says “I am a fan of this”.
This recipe is obviously faster if you already have the sauce and rice made, so plan to refrigerate or freeze enough of both whenever you have some left over.
A quick and nutritious week night meal that feels like a weekend splurge.
- 3/4 – 1 cup tangy cheddar sauce (it doesn’t have to be exact)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 small red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/4 tsp salt (plus a pinch)
- 4 vegan sausages (we like Field Roast Italian, but try Beyond sausages if gluten-free) (sliced)
- 1 large bunch kale – 1/2 a pound or more (stemmed and chopped)
- 4 cups cooked brown rice (I prefer al dente short grain) or farro
- 1/2 cup sliced olives (we like kalamata)
If reheating cheese sauce, pop it in the microwave (or stir in a pot), along with the tomato paste, for a couple of minutes to heat through. Thin with boiling water until it reaches a nice consistency (you want it spoonable, but not too thin).
Over medium low heat, saute garlic in about 2 teaspoons of the oil until lightly golden. Set aside.
Turn heat up to medium. Saute onion in another 2 teaspoons of oil. Season with a pinch of salt. When onions are soft, add the sausages. Fry until sausages begin to brown.
Add kale and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. If your pan won’t hold it all, add the kale in batches until it wilts down enough to get it all in (add splashes of water and a lid temporarily, if necessary).
Once the kale has cooked down, stir the garlic back in and taste for seasoning, adding some fresh black pepper.
Divide rice between bowls (reheated, if necessary). Distribute the sausage and kale mixture evenly over the top. Spoon the cheese sauce over everything, and sprinkle with chopped olives. Serve.