A.O.K. "trial" Gourmet (17) Cranberry/Maple Sausage Chili

{For an introduction to the A.O.K "trial" Gourmet series - click here.}

Finally right?

I've been talking about this chili since I made it for the first time a couple weeks ago.

*Cranberry-Maple Sausage Chili*

As much as I am a huge fan of anything that combines sweet and heat, I have to be honest and tell you I had my doubts about this one. I did. The recipe comes from an IGA (local grocery chain) recipe card and it was on Brandon's request that I decided to try it. Brandon. The guy who doesn't like chili in the first place. The guy who won't eat my home-made cranberry sauce. Huh?! I think he saw the word "maple" and got all excited :-)

The card rates the recipe as "easy" and I hope you know by now that if I agree and tell you that it's easy, it really is. I'm a very low fuss, keep it simple kind of girl... kind of cook... and I can't say enough how important it is for me (particularly in this phase of my life, with 2 small kids) to find the place where simplicity, healthy and tasty somehow come together. Not always an easy thing to find, right? Right.

This chili is so easy to make and the recipe gives you the option of preparing it earlier in the day and letting it simmer in your slow cooker OR putting it all together about an hour before dinner on the stovetop. The result is a incredibly tasty (if you like the whole sweet with heat flavour combination) twist on a classic household "go to" meal. It's the perfect comfort food for a cold fall/winter day, and with arrival of Spring and "maple" season - it's great for this time of year too.

Can you tell I'm a fan? Can you tell that I think everyone should try this one?

The Recipe for Cranberry-Maple Sausage Chili
(my modifications in Purple)

6 (4)servings; 15 minutes prep; 1 hour cooking time; easy


- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cranberry-maple sausages (6 mild italian sausages + 2 tablespoons maple syrup)
- 1 each: garlic clove and onion, finel chopped
- 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, with juice
- 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable cocktail
- 19 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 envelope reduced-salte taco seasoning (I took the shortcut here but it's just as easy to use some chili and cumin instead)
- 1 cinnamon stick
-1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 sweet yellow pepper, diced


(Option 1: slow cooker)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (I opted for no oil and used a non-stick frying pan. Sausages have enough fat on their own). Add sausages and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until well grilled. Turn sausages once halfway through cooking. Remove from pan and slice about 1 cm thick. Transfer to slow cooker.

2. In the same skillet, cook garlic and onion for about 2 minutes. Until both are lightly golden (I forgot to do this and just through it all in the slow cooker as instructed in the next step. oops.)
3. Add garlic, onion, tomatoes, vegetable juice, black beans, taco seasoning and cinnamon (and maple syrup) to slow cooker. Stir gently to combine. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

4. Add cranberries and sweet pepper and continue cooking on high for 15 minutes, or until pepper is tender-crisp.

5. Remove cinnamon stick before serving. Serve with your favourite baguette and a green salad.

(Option 2: stovetop)

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; cook sausages, garlic and onion according to method given for slow cooker.
2. Add diced tomatoes, vegetable juice, black beans, taco seasoning, maple syrup , and cinnamon stick. Stir gently to combine. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, stirring several times during cooking.
3. Add cranberries and sweet pepper and cook for 7 additional minutes.




Allison said...

Why, what a great combination of flavors. Sounds yummy.

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