Friday, August 29, 2008

Food Friday Brings You Double Dippers

© Carrie Boyko
Low Fat and Low Cost
Organic Sausage Recipes

No, this isn't an ice cream recipe; today we're double dipping with saving you money and fat, and bringing you two recipes to do this with.

Growing up, the only sausage I remember eating was the breakfast types--patties and links. I've always been curious about different sausages and on the lookout for those that aren't so high in fat. Since my organic journey began, I became aware of an organic Italian chicken sausage, made at a local store, which is quite economical and tasty. And even more important, it has only 4.5 grams of fat per serving--a very low fat count for sausage. It is offered in mild and hot versions. I haven't gotten brave enough to try the spicier type yet, but the mild is wonderful. Since trying this, I have discovered many other brands of Italian sausage are widely available; some are all-chicken or turkey and others are made of pork. Nevertheless, I'm confident you will be able to find organic Italian sausage somewhere in your area. I've chosen the chicken primarily because it is low-fat, but also for its reasonable cost.Today, I'll share a couple of simple and flavorful recipes. Both are delightful when served with a fresh fruit salad, to balance the spicy kick from the sausage. The first is quick and easy, making it a good choice for a weekend lunch or quick dinner. It stores and reheats well, so make some extra. It will save you some time in the kitchen preparing more food for the starving teenagers, or for a quick meal when you're the only one home.

Grilled Organic Italian Sausage Sandwiches

  • 1 package Organic Italian sausage (mild or hot, usually packaged in 5-6 large links)
  • 2 large organic yellow onions, chilled
  • Organic cooking spray
  • French rolls, Hoagie rolls, Baguette rolls, organic if available, or make your own and freeze the extras to stay fresh
Cut the onions in half and peel, then slice each half in 1/4 inch wide slices. Spray a shallow saucepan with cooking spray and heat pan to medium heat. Place the sausages in the middle of the pan, and distribute the onions around the sausage. Every few minutes, stir the onions, incorporating the juices from the sausage. Cook each of the 4 sides of the sausage until well-grilled in appearance to assure it is well-cooked. Continue until sausage and onions are all well-browned. When the sausages are on their last side, slice the rolls and toast them, placing open on plates for serving. Serves 5-6.

A brightly-colored fresh, organic fruit salad will be the perfect complement to this sandwich, adding color and cold sweetness to balance the spicy, warm sandwich.

Organic Pasta with Italian Sausage and Vegetables

This recipe is wonderful for family nights and just as delightful for company. As usual with my recipes, all the ingredients can be prepared in advance, to minimize time in the kitchen when you have company.
  • 1 package organic Penne pasta
  • 1/2 head of organic broccoli, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 6 organic carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 package organic Italian sausage (mild or hot), sliced into 3/4 inch pieces, then halved, browned well.
  • 1 organic leek, sliced thin, including most of the greens, browned along with the sausage, OR
  • 1 medium organic yellow onion, cut small and browned with sausage
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded
  • Sea salt
First let me give you a tip regarding the preparation of the sausage. If you're in a time pinch, cook the sausage whole and then cut it up. That is the fastest method. It reheats easily in the microwave when you are ready to put it into the pasta. However, if you have time, cut it up first, pulling off the skin, and the sausage will crumble easier into small pieces, which distributes the flavor well throughout the dish. This is preferable, but the first method is fine also.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, setting a timer to test at the minimum time recommended. When it is near boiling, place the broccoli in 1 inch of purified water, add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and bring to a boil. Add the carrots to the pot and remove from heat, stir and cover. When the pasta is done, strain it well and return to pot. Stir in all the sausage, leeks and cooked vegetables, making sure to strain the broccoli and carrots well. Finally, pour into a large serving bowl and sprinkle generously with Parmesan Cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 6-8.

Again, a cold, organic fruit salad is a great accompaniment, adding color to your meal and cooling the palate.

If you have a favorite recipe made with Italian sausage, I'd love to share it on my blog, and I'll be sure to give you credit. Feel free to drop me a comment and tell me about it.

Join me Monday when I'm back at the juicer, this time with apples. I'll be making homemade organic apple juice, and there is no waste when I juice apples. The pulp, including the peel, makes a wonderful, nutritious applesauce that is quick and easy. I'll show you how to freeze it is small amounts for school lunches that will stay cold until lunch time.

If you're looking for Labor Day cookout recipes, see my post from August 18 entitled Lazy Cook's Labor Day Organic Cookout for a complete cookout plan with recipes. Have fun!

1 comment:

winda said...

nice info, thanks very much ;)

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