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

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin (Recipe)

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Pumpkin

Chicken and Quinoa Stuffed Pumpkin

I decided to get creative the other night and this is what became of it.  I picked up a small pumpkin and decided to try making a savory stuffing to bake into it.  The stuffing is made up of chicken, quinoa, apples, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onions and cranberries seasoned with the typical holiday spices of sage, thyme and nutmeg as well as salt, pepper and garlic.  Rosemary and marjoram would be good choices as well.  I used chicken in this version as that’s what I had on hand, however turkey would be a great choice and you could also use beef or lamb.  Next time I make this I think I’ll add some water chestnuts and celery.  You could also omit the pumpkin, add a bit more cream of mushroom soup and turn this into a casserole.

I love the holidays and all the awesome food that goes along with them, but we all know what that can do to a weight loss plan.  It’s nice to have some options for healthier choices that are still delicious and I think this fits the bill.  Check back soon for a great pumpkin mousse recipe that is only 68 calories per serving.

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin

Ingredients

2 pie pumpkins, approximately 2 – 2 ½ lbs each
12 oz chicken breast, cooked and chopped
– Could also used ground chicken or turkey
½ cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water
1 small Fuji apple, diced
1 medium sweet potato, diced
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
½ medium onion, chopped
¾ cup mushrooms, sliced
½ can condensed cream of mushroom soup
Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic, sage, thyme, nutmeg
Spray olive oil

Quinoa and Chicken Stuffing for Pumpkin

Quinoa and Chicken Stuffing for Pumpkin

Preparation

Add water, quinoa, apples, cranberries and sweet potato to pan.  Add salt to taste and heat over medium heat.  Once boiling cover and lower heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Quinoa should be moist with no standing water.  While the quinoa cooks prepare your pumpkins but cutting the tops off much the same way you would for a Jack-o-Lantern and clean the insides.

Next, heat saute pan over medium heat and coat with olive oil.  Add onion and cook until slightly translucent then add mushrooms and continue cooking over medium heat until done heat to low.  If necessary add additional oil to keep from sticking, but only in small amounts.

Add quinoa, chicken and to onions and mushrooms in pan and mix thoroughly.  Add cream of mushroom soup to give mixture a moist consistency but not wet, once cooked you’ll want your stuffing to be firm but moist.  Season to taste with your choice of salt, pepper, garlic, sage, thyme, nutmeg, rosemary and/or marjoram.

Bake pumpkins in preheated 350F oven for 35 – 45 minutes.  Test pumpkin doneness by piercing close to top with fork and flaking slightly.  Pumpkin should be tender and not too stringy.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes then cut in half and serve.

Tips, tricks and shortcuts

  • In my picture I’ve quartered the pumpkin for the photo however a serving is ½ pumpking and ¼ of stuffing mixture
  • I will likely add some water chestnuts and celery next time I make this.
  • This would be good with most ground meats.  Chicken, beef, lamb and of course, turkey.

BASIC NUTRITION INFO (per serving / 4 servings per recipe)

Calories: 381.7
Carbohydrates: 59.0 grams
Fat: 5.4 grams
Protein: 26.8 grams
Fiber: 9.3 grams

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