Easy weeknight grill dinner: these sausage and broccoli kebabs come together in about 30 minutes. Low-carb and freakishly delicious.
LOOOOK! I made my family dinner. I know, nothing new. But still, it’s something, you know? Sometimes I wish every frazzled mom out there could have some pretty pictures of the meals she made her kids. To make art out of something ordinary.
Because sometimes being a mom is a pretty thankless job. Sometimes you get through the day and think, what did I even DO today? Nothing I guess. And then you feel all empty inside.
My sister Nikki has 5 kids. One time her 2-year-old got a hold of some butter and smeared it all over the house. (E.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.) She spent hours cleaning it up. Her husband was outside that day building a shed. What did he have at the end of the day? 1 shed. What did she have? 1 butter-free couch. The day ended exactly the way it started. No butter on the couch.
Sometimes it’s hard to feel creative when all you are doing is hosing down the fire.
“All great works of art are trophies of victorious struggle.”
That’s a quote by Julius Meier-Graefe, found on this awesome blog post about the relationship between struggle and art.
I think it could definitely be argued that children are works of art. Art from God, that we have a tiny bit of understudy influence over, because let’s be real, these kids have got minds of their own. Can you imagine if we really could shape them the way we wanted? Awful thought. I think our species would have died out by now.
I’ve been working on this blog post for about 3 hours now (not including making/photographing the food). That may sound kind of crazy, but this is my hot air balloon, so to speak. Oh wait, I haven’t told you about that part yet:
My sister-in-law Sandi took that picture. It is the result of years of practice and hundreds of hours of mindlessly boring editing. Art, from massive struggle. Isn’t it breathtaking?
I’m writing to remind myself that sometimes being a mom is a massive struggle. Being a mom who runs a food blog can be a massive struggle. And I’m really just starting out, so what can I expect? A perfect hot air balloon? No. I get a butter-free couch. But I’m hoping that all those butter-free couches will add up to something extraordinary. A mosaic of clean things that will eventually unravel into a breathtaking life.
I edit Meier-Graefe’s quote: Beautiful, victorious lives are trophies of massive struggle, and yes, tediousness.
What do you guys think? Is struggle prerequisite to beauty? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Real quick–these Easy Sausage and Broccoli Kebabs. It’s a great weeknight meal. Buy good quality sausage. Why have I never grilled broccoli? It masks the terrible broccoli flavor. Perfect for me! Don’t skip the roasted tomatoes, they are to die for! The White Bean Salad is quick and bright from the lemon zest. Change it up and add cilantro if you want, or all basil.
Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Easy Sausage and Broccoli Kebabs with White Bean Salad
For the white bean salad:
- 2 10-oz packages cherry tomatoes
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, fresh, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, fresh, roughly chopped
- 1 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the kebabs:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausages, cut into bite-size pieces
- 12 ounces broccoli, cut into large florets
- 8-10 skewers, soaked if they are made of wood
- Start by heating your grill to medium-high.
- Roughly chop 1 package of the cherry tomatoes for the bean salad. You don't have to add all of them to the salad. Grill whatever you don't use. (Leave the ones for the grill whole).
- Use a fine grater to zest about 2 teaspoons of lemon peel into a medium bowl. Squeeze the juice from the lemon in with the zest; about 3 tablespoons, give or take. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir together.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, beans, parsley, basil, and chopped green onions. Add 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss in the sausage, broccoli, and whole tomatoes. Divide the meat and vegetables onto the skewers. (I actually just brushed the already-made kebabs with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.)
- Grill for about 4 minutes, covered. Flip them and continue to grill for another 3-4 minutes.
- Serve with the white bean salad.
Use any kind of sausage you like. I think kielbasa would be good. Any kind of white bean will do.
The broccoli stems tend to split when you put them on the skewers. None of mine fell off though, so don’t stress about it.
More easy dinners:
Easy Cheesy Asparagus Tortellini Bake
Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Spicy Honey Bacon Glaze
Check this one out by my friend Andi over at The Weary Chef–it’s pretty similar to today’s recipe. Great minds cook alike! :) Meatball and Pasta Skewers
The sausage and broccoli kabobs were so good! May I suggest pre-cooking the broccoli a bit, as it took a long time to soften up and cook on the grill.
I’m so glad you liked it Gail! Thanks for the review! I’ve made this a few times and like the level of softness that the recipe states, but it’s definitely more crisp than say, steaming. I know everyone varies on how tender they like cooked veggies, so thank you for the heads up on this for other readers!
Great! Thanks so much. Making these for a small get together tomorrow night and they seem perfect.
Making this recipe tomorrow. Should it be raw or pre-cooked sausage? Thank you!
Hi Becca! Should be raw sausage. There is a picture of the kind I used. Any kind of raw sausage links will do. Hope it turns out well for you! Now you’ve got me craving this! :)
Oh my gosh that story. What did she have at the end of the day…so funny! AND TRUE.
Love this meal. Want it!
Your photos always have such a beautiful use of color. I love them! And this looks especially good. I love a bean salad in the summer, so I will have to try this!
Thank you Kristie! The bean salad really was good, and so simple. That’s the best part about summer!
Parenting small kids is the hardest thing in the world because there is precious little to show for all your massive amounts of work. Very few people feeling comfortable boasting, “Hey I kept two small people hell-bent on self destruction alive today! Go me!” Which is a shame.
And while the days are filled with buttered couches, there comes a time when your son will race over and open the library door for an older lady without even being told to and she’ll turn around and say to you, “Great job Mom on teaching him manners!” And for a brief moment it will suddenly and completely be worth it. The sky will be full of gorgeous hot air balloons.
(Until he then punches his sister in the arm for laughing at him, fifteen minutes later, and you are back with buttered couches.)
Hell-bent on destruction, lol!! It’s so true. I will hang out on a buttered couch with you any day Amy.
What a wonderful recipe! And I loved your post. The hot air balloon picture is absolutely stunning! I’m still attempting to learn food photography, pictures of anything else are completely out of my mastery. I’m so impressed with people who can take pictures of things that move! Being a mom food blogger I can honestly say, a day that ends with a butter free couch is a success for me!
Thank you Serene! My food photos used to look like dog food (Not even kidding) so have hope, you will totally get better!! If I can do it you can :) And hurray for butter free couches! We earned it.
This is the most eloquent blog posts I’ve read in a while, Karen. And super refreshing for me and other moms with young kids! Mothering is the most beautiful job in the world right? In the most tedious, thankless horrid way! And there is still butter on my couch on most days I’m pretty. Ha! But I have to believe that most great works of art (yes, including kids) are achieved through struggle- often tedious struggle. It’s kind of weird to think that most off the world won’t know about or appreciate the little tedious struggles and victorious moments of my mothering experience…that the trophy won’t lie in the form of a well-built shed or some book being written about my parenting genius. Maybe it’ll just feel satisfying to know that I’ve worked so hard…and put my whole heart in my work? I’d love to believe that! Please let it be true! And when I get some kid-free moments, I’ll work on my next blog post because it’s way less tedious and more fun! Wait-did I just write that? Thanks for the great insights…
Aw, thank you Sarah! I agree, mothering is the most beautiful job in the world. Most days. haha! Thanks for commenting, glad to know I’m not alone out there. :)
This is totally my kind of dinner! So delicious!
Oh my goodness, freakishly delicious is right!! This is a beautifully written and inspired post, Karen. I really do really feel like food blogging is an artistic expression, however I didn’t really go into it with that mindset. But it is nice to elevate something you created and then be able to archive it, especially when you kind of feel dare I say, under appreciated in your efforts sometimes. I have 2 autistic boys and being a mom has definitely had its massive struggles over the years (as well as humongous blessings) but I really feel like the struggles really can refine us, so yeah I am down with that quote totally! : )
Thank you for your comment Crystal! Sometimes I feel alone being a mom, and being a mom with autistic boys must be even more lonely sometimes. It does refine us, but it’s hard. Soldier on sister! Someday we will get our hot air balloons! :)
This is such a beautifully written post, Karen. Your prose is totally worth every second of those 3 hours. While I don’t yet have kids, I still totally relate to your perspective that some days, things just end exactly where they started. It’s all worth it for the long game though.
And shoot, these kabobs look killer – and this white bean salad? I’m all over that. Did my dinner invite get lost in the mail? Lovely photos, lady.
Thanks Sarah! You know you’re invited for dinner anytime. Just remember that when you come on the day I post something, all that food is gone, so you might accidentally show up on a scrambled egg and smoothie night. Cause I’m super classy like that. Haha!
Loved this post Karen! :) I feel the same way and thanks for the reminder that we moms feel like it can be a massive struggle some days.
There would be no struggle for me to eat these kebabs though. They look amazing and sound perfect with the white bean salad! Have a great weekend :)
Thanks Kelly! It’s true, these kebabs are no struggle at all :)
What a wonderful meal! Thanks so much for this low-carb inspiration! And may all our couches be butter free. :)
That hot air balloon picture is gorgeous!
And this dinner sounds amazing too. Love that white bean salad! Have a great weekend lady!