Have you ever tried chicken sausage?
I never even knew it existed until I began the journey into calorie-counting and I found it as an ingredient for something on Spark People.
Its whereabouts in the grocery store perplexed me so I wandered around looking for it and found it above the breakfast sausage but below the kielbasa in my grocery’s refrigerated section. Just in case you were wondering. Like I was.
I like chicken sausage because I love sausage in general (there’s a joke in there somewhere) but it’s lower in fat and lower in calories than full-fat pork sausage. So you can get the sausage taste without all of the sausage-ness in your typical unhealthy version.
I have two delicious recipes for chicken sausage that you might enjoy; the first one is a chicken sausage and feta dish of my own, the second is a slow-cooker chicken sausage paella from Eat! Move! Play! the awesome, awesome Weight Watchers book that I’ve been cooking my way through this summer and enjoying every moment of this (YOU SERIOUSLY NEED THIS BOOK!)
Penne with Chicken Sausage
-4 links precooked chicken sausage (I used Al Fresca brand)
-10 oz. frozen broccoli
-2 red peppers, sliced
-1 Box whole wheat pasta
-1 bunch basil, chopped
-1/2 cup feta cheese
pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Sautee peppers and broccoli. Cover and cook until warm, remove from pan. Sliced pre-cooked chicken sausage and heat in pan. Prepare pasta according to directions. When sausage is browned, toss with in cooked pasta and veggies. Top with feta and basil.
Slow Cooker Paella with Chicken Sausage (best EVER!) from Eat! Move! Play!
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
1 (8 oz) package sliced mushrooms (I’m not a mushroom person, I omitted.)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 oz) package yellow rice
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
12 oz fully-cooked reduced-fat chicken sausage, sliced
Heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring until onion is softened, about 5 mins. Add peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic and cook until veggies soften, about 3 mins. Transfer veggies to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Add rice mix, tomatoes, and water. Cook sausage in same skillet over medium-hihgh heat until browned, about 2 mins. Add sausage to slow cooker. Cover and cook until rice is just tender and the liquid is absorbed, 1-2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low. (Note: mine took 3-4 hours on high, for some unknown reason.)
We’ve been highlighting recipes and exercises all month from Eat! Move! Play! and I canNOT explain to you how much I love the recipes in this book. I am literally cooking my way through it. So far, I’ve made “Spaghetti Pie”, “Turkey and Rice ‘Mice,’” and “Cheesy Mini Muffins” just to name a few. And I’ve taken quite a few pictures, which I’d share, but my food pictures make the food look more like the food tends to look after you eat it. (How do people take such great food pictures! I am not blessed with that talent.)
What about you? Have you had chicken sausage? And what other foods do you use to substitute the higher fat versions?
(*Note* If you’re watching your sodium content, you may want to look out for anything sausage, as it may be a little high — just make sure to read the labels.)
Another great chicken sausage recipe: Red Beans with Chicken Andouille Sauce & Rice!