Tag Archives: Low Fat

Chicken Breakfast Sausage

Guten Morgen!

My next door neighbor growing up was an older German lady, and she taught me and my sisters simple phrases that we could impress our friends and family with when we went over to her house.  I don’t remember much, since I was young, but I do remember how her house was hung all over with heavy braided ropes of garlic and she was always cooking.  And to my six year-old self, it smelled weird.

Now I’d probably be there all the time, eating authentic German meals and trying to beg any recipes out of her that I could.  And I’d like to think that my nose has grown more sophisticated–what smelled weird would now smell absolutely delicious.

Anyway, this post has nothing to do with Deutschland.  Just a nice memory I thought I’d share.

This morning I woke up early (which is now weirdly normal for this previously late sleeper) and thought to myself, “I would like…some sausage.”  Not something I usually think upon opening my eyes at 7:00 in the morning–but with some free time and a meat grinder available, my next thought was “why not?”.  So this chicken breakfast sausage came to be.

Chicken Breakfast Sausage (original recipe here)

  • 1 lb ground chicken (I used one pound of chicken breast, still slightly frozen, to grind)
  • 1 t ground dried sage
  • 1/2 t ground dried thyme
  • 1/4 t ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t allspice
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4-1/2 t dried garlic (or one garlic clove, minced)
  • 1/2 T maple syrup
  • 2 T olive oil

First, grind the meat–if you have that option.  One nice thing about grinding your own meat is that you know exactly what’s in it.  You can buy ground chicken at the grocery store, but you have no idea how much skin or fat is in it.  Another reason to grind meat is the price–I bought frozen chicken breasts at $1.88/lb, which costs less than buying ground chicken.  Lastly, it’s not as inconvenient as you think–it’s quicker than running out to the store, and it’s best to grind meat that is cold or partially frozen, so having to defrost the meat first before you grind it is not a big deal–just go halfway!

But if all that doesn’t convince you, then it’s okay to just buy already ground meat at the store.  I’ll still like you.

Grind the meat according to the instructions of your meat grinder (mine’s a KitchenAid attachment, thanks to Mom and Dad).

Put it in a small bowl and add all the spices, syrup, and oil.  Mix, but don’t go too hard or your ground meat will turn into mush.  Just combine everything evenly.

Depending on what you are using it for, you can form the meat into patties or just use it as is.  I was making a recipe (you’ll see it later) that calls for only 1/2 lb of sausage, so I shaped the remainder into patties on wax paper, wrapped it in a big ziploc, and froze it for later. 

I’m really into the freezing extra for later thing right now–it’s so exciting later in the week when you remember you have it and all you have to do is defrost.  It doesn’t take any more time or effort to make extra in the first place, but it does make life so much easier when it’s time for dinner and you don’t feel like cooking.

To cook the sausage, spray a little oil into the pan first, either canola or olive oil.  The sausage itself is so low-fat that you need a little extra to keep it from sticking (this is more true for the patties than for the ground sausage).  For patties, cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes on either side, and try to only flip it once to prevent breaking.  For the ground sausage, just cook until the pink is gone.

We were so thrilled with this recipe.  Sometimes the “at-home” and healthy version doesn’t satisfy food cravings, but this really tasted just like a savory chicken breakfast sausage you’d buy at the store.  Perfect for having with eggs, and I’m looking forward to grinding up a giant batch and taking it camping with us this summer.

Plus, do-it-yourself food is so satisfying!  Why buy it when you can make it at home just as easily?

Here’s a little preview of what I used the sausage for:

Henry has been using the cloud cover today to do some serious bird scouting.  He hasn’t left his post in over an hour, and he hasn’t become any less diligent–he does this adorable mumbly mew in the back of his throat when he gets excited a bird is coming near his window.  Quite entertaining.

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Filed under Breakfast

Gluten-Free Pomegranate Corn Muffins

Wow.  That was a good workout.

And now I’m back on the couch, updating another blog post instead of doing all the homework that is awaiting me.  But I kinda feel like I have to, because I want to bake something yummy tomorrow too and then everything will just be all backed up.

Also, I hate homework.  So let’s talk about baking instead.

We have another “married-and-twenty-somethings” get-together coming up on Thursday, and that’s just a great excuse to do some baking.  Since Cait is gluten-free, it’s also a good excuse to try baking something new.  And by the way, baking gluten-free is impossible! fairly difficult to master.  You need a lot of ingredients, usually including at least three different kinds of wheatless flour.  This is definitely the most successful (not to mention healthiest) of my attempts at gluten-free bakery, so enjoy, all you allergics and celiacs out there!

Gluten-Free Pomegranate Corn Muffins (adapted from this recipe)

  • 1 1/2 C gluten-free cornmeal
  • 1/2 brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 t guar gum
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T plain greek yogurt
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 1/2 C skim milk
  • 1 C pomegranate seeds

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the dry ingredients together first, then add the wet ingredients (whip the egg  separately first).  Mix thoroughly–gluten-free baked goods tend to be dense and have difficulty rising, so the more air you can whip into the batter, the better.  And my muffins rose a lot.

Add the pomegranate, and mix by hand.  If you use the mixer, the seeds will burst and you will have pink muffins.  Not the worst thing, but you also wont have that delightful burst of juice when you bite into one.

Pour into greased muffin cups.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until they are beautifully golden-brown on top.  Cool on a wire rack, then take about 40 pictures of them so you can blog about it later.  Oh wait–you probably don’t have to do that.

While your muffins are baking, it might be a good time to go look for your cat.  If he’s anything like Henry (who is, after all, the star of this blog) you may find him laying in the largest patch of sun available in the house, preening (or grooming, or whatever it is that cats do).  He has to look his best at all times!

Check back in tomorrow to see some pumpkin bars.

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts