Easy Breakfast Sausage and Sausage-Sweet Potato Hash

One of my favorite meals, at any time of the day, is sausage and eggs.  However I don’t like all the preservatives and such that come in most store-bought sausage (and bacon) or the price of the healthier choices.  So… I decided to try my hand at making them myself.  The bacon is still a work in progress, I haven’t tried a recipe I really liked yet, but I’ve engineered a quick and easy recipe for breakfast sausage that I really enjoy, my base for this recipe is Alton Brown’s Country Sausage but I’ve tweaked it to make it easier and I’ve cut out the sugar.  For any non-US readers, country sausage, AKA breakfast sausage here in the States, is a loose sausage.  Usually pork or turkey, but it can be made with any ground meat.  Although some places do make it into cased links it’s also served as patties or cooked and crumbled for use with other ingredients, like the hash recipe below.  Oh yeah this recipe and the has recipe are both Paleo diet friendly!

Sausage Seasoning and Ground Turkey

Sausage Seasoning and Ground Turkey

Sausage Crumbles

Sausage Crumbles

EASY BREAKFAST SAUSAGE
Print Recipe

(Recipe below seasons 10 lbs of ground meat.)

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp smoked kosher salt (use plain Kosher salt if smoked not available but the smoked salt really adds to the flavor.)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp dried sage
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes

BASIC NUTRITION INFO (per 4 oz serving, made with lean ground turkey)

Calories: 170
Carbohydrates: 0 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Protein: 21 grams
Fiber: 0 grams

If you choose to use  ground pork with an 80/20 lean/fat ratio this would have 280 calories per serving with 21 grams total fat and 20 grams protein.

Directions

Put everything in a spice grinder or break out a mortar and pestle and grind together.  Once ground, use 1 1/2 Tbsp per Lb of ground meat, I’ve made this with pork and turkey and it works great with both.  Mix it into the meat and it’s ready, flavor is improved if you refrigerate for about an hour after mixing and this will keep in the fridge for a few days.  Spice mixture will keep for quite a while in a sealed container.

Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash

Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash

SAUSAGE AND SWEET POTATO HASH

  • 4 oz breakfast sausage
  • 1/2 medium sweet potato, diced and boiled or steamed
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • OPTIONAL: Diced bell pepper, sliced jalapeño, sliced mushrooms

Directions

This one is super easy to prepare.  Add a bit of oil to a hot pan (medium heat) and sauté the onion for a few minutes, add the sausage and cook until browned.  Now add the sweet potatoes and any other ingredients you like and cook until done to your preference, you can cook just until heated however I like to let the sweet potatoes caramelize a bit first.  Plate and serve, this is excellent topped with a fried egg.

BASIC NUTRITION INFO

Calories: 222
Carbohydrates: 14 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Protein: 24 grams
Fiber: 2 grams

Topped with 2 large eggs:

Calories: 362
Carbohydrates: 14 grams
Fat: 18 grams
Protein: 36 grams
Fiber: 2 grams

Chilaquiles con Pollo y Salsa Verde

A buddy from Texas introduced me to these this weekend and I was immediately hooked.  I had to see what I could come up with as a fairly healthy recipe for them so I did what I usually do and scoured recipes on the internet and then built my own version with suggestions or ideas from all the others I found.   Pronounce chil-a-KEE-less and Spanish for “friggin’ delicious” there are a lot of variations to be found – con pollo, con carne, verde, rojo, etc.  Since the ones I tried were chicken with green salsa that’s what I tried to recreate.

I don’t claim my recipe is anywhere near authentic, but it is good.  If you’re watching your sodium you might want to tweak this one some, there’s a lot of salt in the taco seasoning.  This is awesome for breakfast or brunch, serve them with a sides of beans and you’re set.  You can add a salad and you’ve got a great, healthy dinner.

If you try this recipe please let me know what you think, if you have any suggestions for tweaks or variations please feel free to share those as well.

Chilaquiles con Pollo y Salsa Verde 

Chilaquiles con Pollo y Salsa Verde

SERVES 4

Ingredients

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 packet dry taco seasoning mix
1 cup chicken stock
6-8 small, yellow corn tortillas
½ small sweet onion, chopped fine
4 oz queso fresco (Mexican crumbling cheese)
4 Tbsp Mexican crema (substitute sour cream thinned slightly with milk if you can’t get crema)
4 Tbsp salsa verde (Herdez brand is good)
3 large whole eggs
Liquid egg whites equivalent to 3 whole eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Water

Preparation

Coat chicken breast on both sides with ½ of taco seasoning mix.  Heat a large pan on medium high and spray with non-stick spray.  Add chicken breasts and brown on each side.  Add chicken stock to pan and remainder of taco seasoning and the diced onion.  Turn heat to low and cover pan.  Chicken will need to cook slowly for 2-3 hours, check it frequently and break into pieces as it cooks, when done chicken should shred easily, add more liquid (water will suffice) as needed to keep chicken moist.

When chicken is almost done cut the corn tortillas into 1” wide strips.  Pan fry or bake the strips to crisp them, use a little oil if necessary.  Once tortillas are done add them to the shredded chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes until tortillas become soft but not mushy.  Before adding the tortillas their should be a small amount of liquid to be absorbed, once cooked with the tortillas the mixture should be moist with no visible liquid.

Mix eggs and egg whites in a bowl with about 2 Tbsp of water, salt and pepper.  The combination of eggs and whites gives you the flavor of whole eggs but cuts down on calories and cholesterol, of course you can use all whites if you like.  If possible get fresh eggs from a local farmers’ market as they have a more rich egg flavor.  Thanks to my buddy Stan for this tip.  Scramble eggs in a pan taking care not to overcook them.

Plate ¼ of the chicken mixture and top with ¼ of the scrambled eggs.  Pour 1 Tbsp crema over eggs and crumble 1 oz of the queso fresco over that, top that with 1-2 Tbsp of salsa verde.

Chilaquiles are excellent served with black beans or refried beans.  Great for any meal, especially Sunday brunch.  Add a small side salad for a delicious and healthy dinner.

Tips, tricks and shortcuts

  • You can use tortilla chips in this recipe and save the steps of cutting and cooking the tortillas.  Mission sells tortilla strips that would be perfect for this.
  • Buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and shred it then add the taco seasoning and stock and cook down.  Get plain rotisserie flavor or mojo if available.
  • As mentioned above you can use sour cream thinned with milk to a heavy but pourable consistency if you can’t find Mexican crema or simply choose not to use it.

BASIC NUTRITION INFO (per serving)

Calories:  404
Carbohydrates:  23 grams
Fat:  11 grams
Protein:  37 grams
Fiber:  3 grams