Now that I am into the next phase of my weight loss program I am eating much closer to my normal pattern, minus grains, starches and sugar.
I rejoiced this morning when I had my fist green smoothie in weeks. It tasted great, but there was a huge psychological boost as well. This mental boost came from knowing I was getting 2 servings of greens (that I normally do not enjoy eating otherwise) and all the phytonutrients they bring along. And don't forget all the nutrients packed in the blueberries I blended in with the greens in my Vitamix. Yum!
I also really enjoyed having some lean protein with my breakfast from the turkey breakfast sausage I made. I mixed the sausage last night and cooked them all up before freezing them. Now all I have to do is pop a few patties (they are small, about 1 oz each) into the microwave and I have a nice lean protein to get me going in the morning.
While I pan fried the first batch of patties, I found they charred too quickly and stuck to my pan (I don't use non-stick pans). I cooked the rest of them on parchment lined cookie pans in my oven. They don't have the pretty caramelization from the pan, but they taste just as good and took less labor and oil.
This came together relatively quickly and it didn't require that I pull out my entire spice collection. I used ground turkey thighs because I find turkey breast too dry. Perhaps next time I will try a blend of half breast and half thigh. I used granny smith apples and grated them, and the onion, in my food processor. I found that the grated strips were a bit too long for my liking so I switched blades and pulsed the apple/onion mixture, along with the herbs and spices, until it reached the consistency that I wanted. It was finely chopped, but not pureed. Finally, I used my scooper (I think it is the medium scoop) from Pampered Chef to portion out the raw sausage mixture. Since this made them into little meatballs I flattened them with a spatula before baking them. They result was amazing. I really had my doubts about some of the spices that I was adding but they really combine for a great taste. It is definitely a breakfast sausage taste and nothing like Italian sausage. And that is just what I wanted.
Turkey Breakfast Sausage
(makes 35-40 1 oz patties)
2 medium, tart apples, peeled and grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4-1/2 C onion, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced or smashed
1 Tbs rubbed sage
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 lbs ground turkey
If you are not using a food processor as I described above, combine grated apple, onion, egg and all herbs and spices in a large bowl. Make sure this mixture is well combined. Add the turkey to the apple/onion mixture and gently mix with your hands until the ingredients are well incorporated. Measure out preferred portion sizes and shape into patties. These can be cooked slowly in a frying pan over medium heat or on parchment lined cookies sheets in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.