Harvest Sausage Hash – slow cooker meal

Harvest Sausage Hash

I’m in love with the idea of crock pot meals, but there are very few that I make completely in the slow cooker. I use my crock pot all the time, but it’s generally not to make a complete meal. The problem with many slow cooker meals is that they’re either super heavy on the meat (and meat ain’t cheap!), or use a lot of rice or pasta, neither of which come out great for me in the crock pot.

This harvest sausage hash is an exception. It comes out perfectly cooked and delicious every single time. It’s a complete meal all in one crock pot, no side dishes needed (although this russian rye bread goes perfectly for sopping up the juices!). My people normally hate cabbage, but everyone loves this meal. It’s an easy way to get a whole lot of vegetables into your family without a fuss – at least, for me it is!

Cabbage is typically super cheap in March (St. Patrick’s Day can be thanked for that), so stock up and make this several times through the month. I make this every week through the early months of the year. If you’re not a big fan of soup this is a great meal to warm you up during these last freezing days of winter!

This cooks down a lot in the crock pot, so while it may look like a ridiculous amount of food, it ends up being the perfect amount for about 6 people.

Harvest Sausage Hash


1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3 cups chopped potatoes (yellow/gold potatoes hold up the best, but russets work just fine)
3 cups chopped cabbage
6 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound of sausage – I use Aidell’s chicken and apple, or kielbasa

1 cup chicken broth
1 T. spicy brown mustard (dijon is also delicious)
Pinch of allspice

salt and pepper
dill weed
caraway seeds

1. Wash and prep the vegetables and slice the sausage. Place in the crock pot in the order listed (my crock pot is a 6 quart size).

2. Sprinkle spices over the top of the sausage and vegetables. I don’t measure them! I sprinkle salt generously (the potatoes and cabbage will absorb a lot of salt), a little pepper and paprika, plenty of dill, a good sprinkle of basil, and a liberal dusting of caraway seeds. We like lots of spices, so if your family isn’t a fan of bold flavors just sprinkle lightly with the spices. You can always add more later.

3. Whisk together chicken broth, mustard, and allspice. Pour over the top of the spices in the slow cooker.

4. Cover and set the cooker to low heat. Cook for 6-8 hours, until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Harvest sausage hash

Notes: As mentioned earlier, this is great with that Russian rye bread! I also like to add some sauerkraut to my bowl.

Are you a fan of cabbage? What’s your favorite way to eat it?


Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes

Chocolate quinoa cupcakes

Don’t freak out, they’re really good!

The first time I ate quinoa I thought it was disgusting, and looked like little eyeballs. If that’s you, you need to try this recipe – it will make a quinoa lover out of you!

When I eliminated gluten from my diet for my littlest cave boy I was not excited about it. I’m definitely not a low-carber, and learning to bake gluten-free is a big challenge. Buying lots of specialty flours, starches, and gums was too much for me at first with three kids, one a baby who woke 3-5 times a night to nurse. I opted to buy GF mixes for a while, and that worked, but finding this recipe for chocolate quinoa cake made me SUPER excited! Whole-grain, I already had it on hand, didn’t need a grain mill, and it’s chocolate. That sounded like a winning recipe to me!

The first time I made it was a huge hit, and I even made these cupcakes for my older boys’ birthday party. Everyone loved them and had no idea they were made with quinoa! It’s easy to make these dairy-free as well, which I used to do, by substituting coconut oil and coconut milk for the butter and milk.

You can mix and grind the quinoa part of the batter using a blender or food processor. If you use a high-powered blender (I use my vitamix) you’ll need to stop and scrape it down several times because it’s very thick. If you use a food processor you won’t need to scrape the sides down much, but it takes a long time (like 10 minutes) to get the quinoa smooth. I prefer using the vitamix, but either will work.

Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes


2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (be sure to cook in water, not broth!)
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake liners in muffin pans (this makes about 20 cupcakes).

2. Place cooked quinoa, milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla in blender or food processor. Blend until quinoa is smooth, stopping to scrape the sides down a few times.

3. In a large bowl stir together sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add blended quinoa mixture and stir until mixed well.

4. Scoop into prepared muffin pans, then bake for 20-25 minutes, until tops spring back when touched. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes: A friend of mine made this using honey in place of the sugar and said it came out great!

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

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