Revised Recipe – Sausage & Peppers

This week, I was reminded of just how fleeting life can be.  One decision can alter the course of another person’s life in the blink of an eye.  We never really know what’s ahead and we have no control over some of it.  What we do have control over is the way we respond to these tragic life experiences.   This weekend, I’ve said many prayers for a young boy and his family.  I hope that in time they come to find solace in knowing there are many people here to support them.

Thankfully, this weekend my brother came up from North Carolina so I got to spend time with my entire family.  My two brothers and I haven’t been together since November and it’s not often we are all in the same place at the same time.  The weather was amazing on Saturday and it really was just what I needed.  This coming weekend, my children will all be home for my birthday so I’m excited for that as well.  There’s nothing like time with family, including of course good food, to soothe the soul in trying times.

Last month, I signed up for and started taking an online nutrition course.  Those who have been reading my blog for the past two years know that I’ve been to quite a few nutritionists.  While I have learned something from each of them, often I found they were trying to sell me something.  I finally decided to take matters into my own hands and take some courses to become more self sufficient.  I don’t want to live on pills and powders, as I love food way too much.  I spent the first four weeks of the course, tracking my eating and taking notes on how my body responds to certain foods.  I used an online tracking app – Lose It – to identify trends in my eating.  Specifically, I was looking at my macronutrient balance.  This experience was eye opening for me and coupled with the content I was reading and viewing, I had a better understanding of some personal issues.

These next three weeks, I am cutting back on animal based proteins, including eggs and dairy.  This week, I will not eat more than 3 meals in which my protein source is animal based.  The goal is to spend some time on a plant based diet and see how my body responds.  This is just one cycle I will go through to track and observe, nothing permanent.  Yet, this work doesn’t excite me as much as the prior cycle as I often use eggs and chicken as my protein source.  In planning my menu for the week, I must admit I wasn’t too excited about my options.  I’ve got some work to do to ensure I get enough protein, but I feel like I have a plan.  I’ve recently discovered that I love cruciferous foods, especially as a base for my salads.  I discovered that I can also chop up many other vegetables to look like a slaw and they suddenly taste so much better.FA6FF1BB-45C2-4D77-A684-3B02D9058CC8.jpeg

Today, my last day in the current cycle, I reflected on how much I’ve changed my eating habits when watching my macronutrient balance.  I was shooting for 15% carbs, 15% protein and 70% healthy fats these past few weeks.  I have noticed a change in my energy levels, cravings and sleep.

For Sunday sauce, my husband brought home some beautiful red, yellow and orange peppers and some hot Italian turkey sausage.  This simple substitution of turkey sausage cuts back significantly on the fat content of this staple meal.  Let’s face it, sausage is not exactly in the healthy fat category.  Honestly, if I didn’t know it was turkey I likely wouldn’t have noticed.  It was delicious.  Since I’ve discovered how much I like salads that are chopped fine, I’ve not missed my pasta or rice.  This type of salad makes a wonderful base for sauces and protein options.  Today’s version consisted of chopped cabbage – red and green, kale, broccoli, jicama and carrots.  Today’s salad was packaged and purchased at the store, but I am confident I can recreate this quite easily going forward.

Turkey Sausage & Peppers

Recipe used is identical to the one I’ve shared before, except I substituted the pork sausage for hot Italian turkey sausage.  Here is the link to that recipe – Sausage & Peppers

If making this salad fresh you’d need to chop all vegetables finely like you would for coleslaw.  I didn’t use any dressing as I had sauce to top it with.  I think the self proclaimed vegetable hater may come over to the dark side after this three week nutritional cycle.  Let’s see how it goes, I’ll definitely keep you posted and share my updated recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sausage & Peppers

My husband brought home some freshly made sausage yesterday, hot and sweet.  I happened to have some gorgeous organic red peppers waiting to be cooked.  Today, we spent the morning in Queens visiting my dad at my mom’s nursing home.  When we got home we had a light lunch and I began to think about what to make for dinner.  One of my husband’s favorite quick meals is sausage and peppers and since I had all the ingredients on hand, why not.

My husband and I have been married for over 30 years.  We’ve known each other since we were 18 years old.  F725EDD3-6ED5-48B0-8060-0AF546F425C7We met in Glendale, NY, at a local hangout through mutual friends.  For those who grew up in Glendale, this hangout was the hot spot of the early 1980s – The Bulkhead. My husband was friends with one of the owners and my best friend and I would go there weekends to hang out and dance.

When we were married, I realized that my husband never really ate any of the Italian meals I loved.  He grew up on meat and starch and not much in the way of pasta or tomato sauce.  I, on the other hand, could eat pizza, baked ziti or chicken parmesan every night of the week.  Thankfully, he now loves these staple meals just as much as I do. Believe me, it was no coincidence he brought these sausage home, knowing I had red peppers.  This meal was so easy to prepare and the biggest decision was – bread, rice, pasta or potatoes.  Tonight, pasta won out as we had rice and bread already this week.

This recipe has evolved over the years from when we were first married.  I was not a huge fan of sausage meat and would never eat peppers back then.  I remember making sausage and peppers for our first family gatherings.  They were always a hit and super easy to make.   Back then, I didn’t make my own sauce.  Rather, I used something in a jar like my mother had.  Back then, I didn’t know that the type of cookware you use impacts the taste of your food – think aluminum pans. Back then, I just wanted something that would taste good and could be prepared ahead so I wouldn’t be stuck in the kitchen when my company arrived.

As my cooking improved, so too did my sausage and peppers.  I never really had a recipe to follow on this one.  I just kind of threw things together and cooked it super long in the oven.  I still experiment with the ingredients, but the version I made today is my latest favorite.  Your house will smell so good when this is cooking.   It’s a nice hearty meal for a Saturday night at home and tastes even better the next day.

Both of us have changed into lounging clothes and have no intention of going out tonight.  He’s watching a movie and I am finishing a good book.  This is not a meal we eat often as it’s not the healthiest.  To lighten it up we have used turkey sausage in the past and it tastes just as good.  With Super Bowl Sunday right around the corner, this may be one dish you might want to try.

Laura’s Sausage & Peppers

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Pour glass of Merlot and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen.A525CE1E-46D4-465D-9252-65FEBC84DB2A
  2. Slice each sausage link into 3 pieces (use sharp knife)
  3. Place 1 tbsp butter in cast iron pan and add sausage links.  Cook over medium heat until they brown nicely on outside.  Remove to oven pan.B0FE1B82-5EE4-4142-BFF2-F2D6A7D53394
  4. In same cast iron pan, add few drops of olive oil, onions and peppers.  Add red pepper and brown over medium heat (about 4 minutes).
  5. Add chopped garlic and cook 1 minute74A54DEA-CC67-47C6-B648-AADA1020D31F
  6. Remove onions and peppers to the same pan as sausage.
  7. In same  pan you cooked onions, add wine and cook down, using wooden scraper to deglaze the pan.
  8. Once the alcohol cooks down, add the chicken broth and tomato paste.
  9. Add spices and stir.  Cook over low heat for about 5-7 minutes.
  10. Pour over sausage in pan.  Cover and cook in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
  11. Uncover and leave in oven for 30 minutes as you prepare your pasta or rice.
  12. Serve over rice, pasta or potatoes. (I usually cook the potatoes right in with the sausage and peppers)

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