Tag Archives: chicken sausage

Italian Spaghetti Squash Quiche

Last night I decided I wanted to make something a little different for dinner. I hadn’t made a Quiche in a while so I thought about doing that. I also had a nice spaghetti squash sitting on my counter and wanted to use it soon. Good thing I decided on the spaghetti squash! When I cut it open a few seeds inside had sprouted! And we’re talking a good 3-4 inches! Crazy! But I also decided to make a Quiche. I combined the two. I just threw stuff together that I had in the refrigerator and voilà! A new delicious taste for dinner! (Or breakfast the next day!)
 I only used half of the squash and it was plenty. And to make it all worth while, ¼ of the Quiche is only 272 calories! Bonus!
 This recipe will make about 8 pieces We usually each have ¼ of the Quiche as a serving though. Oh and did I mention, it’s crustless!

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Ingredients:
½ of a spaghetti squash cooked and scraped out into a bowl. (Cook any way you are used to. I microwave it, cut side down in a shallow casserole with some water for about 10-15 minutes until soft)
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
3 eggs (You can use egg beaters if you want), beaten
1 cup shredded low-fat part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 chicken sausage (any kind you like is fine. I used a Casual Gourmet tomato and mozzarella one), cut into small pieces
2-3 fresh basil leaves, minced
½ teaspoon fennel seed
1 head roasted garlic, chopped (I had it in the fridge, garlic powder will be good too if you want)
Salt & pepper to taste
Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl
 2. Pour ingredients into a casserole dish or any type of baking dish you have. An actual Quiche pan may be too small. Spray the pan with cooking spray.
3. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. Let sit about 10 minutes when done. It will rest this way.

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

As promised, here is a recipe I made for pizza with a cauliflower crust. I was at a Weight Watchers meeting a couple of weeks ago and I heard someone mention making a pizza crust with cauliflower. I was intrigued! My husband is doing his Atkins thing, again,  so he’s avoiding bread like the plague. I however still want my bread! But to be nice I researched the alternatives using cauliflower. Now I will say, it’s not like normal pizza crust. It’s not bread! But, it is still really good! I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome and my husband loved it. So I guess it was a success. I have made it twice now so it’s a keeper for sure.  And for those of you out there crinkling up your noses, it doesn’t taste like cauliflower! Honest! It is a little soft but hardens a bit when it starts to cool out of the oven. 

Made with crumbled chicken sausage

Made with crumbled chicken sausage & cheddar cheese topping

What I really like about this is you can put anything you want on it to make it a pizza. I used chicken sausage, some tomato sauce and some cheese. Incredibly delicious! So be daring, make some cauliflower crust pizza today! It’s worth it! Honestly the hardest part is shredding/chopping the cauliflower. Don’t be scared. It’s a taste sensation!

Crust before baking

Crust before baking

Ingredients:

2-3 Cups shredded or finely chopped cauliflower (I used my shredder attachment on the food processor)

2-3 large eggs, if they are on the small size of large, use 3, beaten

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1½ teaspoon fennel (this really makes a difference, I didn’t use it the 1st time but did the 2nd time, so invest in a jar)

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon garlic powder (more if you desire!)

Directions:

1: Finely chop, shred or rice cauliflower until you have 2-3 cups of cauliflower. Add the eggs and shredded cheese.

2. Add the spices and mix well.

3. Press the mixture into a greased pizza pan or cookie sheet. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t fill up the entire sheet, mine didn’t the first time I made it) First time I used a cookie sheet. Second time I used a stoneware baking sheet. I think the cookie sheet worked better. It’s up to you though.

(Make sure it’s as flat as you can get it with no holes showing through.)

4. Bake at 450º for about 20 minutes. If it is starting to brown and crisp on the edges it’s good. You can cook a little longer if you want.

5. Remove from oven and add desired toppings. Be careful with sauce, don’t over-sauce as it will make the crust too soggy. I used about ½ cup sauce and spread it thin over the crust. I topped it with chopped chicken sausage and part-skim mozzarella. Use whatever you want!!

6. Bake until brown and cheese is bubbly! (about another 5-10 minutes, just keep an eye on it)

Makes about 8 servings

Made with sliced chicken sausage & mozzarella cheese

Made with sliced chicken sausage & mozzarella cheese

Quick & Easy Pizza

I know many people have posted pizza recipes lately. Mine is just the plain and simple ordinary kind. No fuss no muss. I used to make pizzas all the time but stopped for some reason. Then I decided to give the ole dough boy another go. No I do NOT make my own crust. Don’t have time or the patience. So I do the next best thing. I buy the Pillsbury pizza crust in the tube. I like crispy crust so we get the one for thin crust. Fewer calories than the thick one too. I won’t be calling this a diet dish because of the crust but it’s not so bad.

I use my own sauce which I add garlic powder and oregano to. Add some red pepper flakes for more kick if you want. The pizza I made the other day is just a plain pepperoni/sausage cheese pizza. I have one of those stoneware baking pans from Pampered Chef and I used that. When I precooked the crust I sprayed it with a little olive oil cooking spray and sprinkled sesame seeds all along the edges. Came out so tasty and crispy! Not doughy at all. I usually buy the shredded mozzarella cheese but this time I had a coupon for the block so I grated it myself. Much better actually, the cheese was creamier and seemed to have more flavor. I did use part-skim mozzarella of course.

The pepperoni I used was the regular kind and I also used 2 chicken sausages. I peeled the casing off the sausage and cut them into big chunks and put them in the food processor. This way I had ‘ground’ sausage to spread over the pie! Came out awesome. I used the al fresco brand sun-dried tomato chicken sausage. I always stock up on those when they are BOGO in the stores. They freeze wonderfully. Oh and on one half of the pie (my half) I added 4 anchovies as well.  So here is the recipe.


INGREDIENTS:

1 tube of Pillsbury pizza crust

½ cup or so of your favorite tomato sauce/pizza sauce

garlic powder

pepperoni

2 chicken sausages ground up (any Italian flavor is good)

1 cup or so grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

sesame seeds

anchovies if you want

DIRECTIONS:

1. Follow directions on package for oven and pre-cooking the crust. When you have the crust on your baking sheet sprinkle sesame seeds all along the edges. Use as much as you wish.

2. When crust is ready spread the tomato/pizza sauce all over and up to the edges. Sprinkle the ground sausage evenly over the pizza. If you add anchovies place them on evenly through the pie. Spread the cheese evenly on top of that and then top with pepperoni.

3. Bake according to directions on package. I actually put the oven up to 450ºF. I think it calls for 375ºF. I like it more well done. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Check on it after the time is up to make sure the cheese is all melted and bubbly.

Serve it up!


Escarole, Spicy Sausage & Cannellini Bean Stew

I’ve been trying to come up with a recipe today and my mind just keeps getting sidetracked. It’s Thursday, I have an hour left before I go to “Happy Hour” with the neighborhood ladies and I am still sitting here wondering what to use in today’s blog. First I thought about doing a “happy hour” recipe, then changed my mind. I am clueless today. Good thing I don’t have to drive anywhere! We have it at our homes, we take turns once a month. So I just have to walk a few houses away.  But I still want to make sure this is done BEFORE I go meet the ladies. So I was just looking everywhere for anything. It’s been one of those days today. Not much sun out and under 80 degrees for a change. It is fall after all! Then I came across an email I got from Fine Cooking. The recipe looked pretty simple and it’s pretty quick to make too. That is always a plus. If I had escarole in the house I’d make this tonight. But I don’t so I will make it next week. Hopefully I will get another cool “fall” day in Florida!

The recipe calls for regular hot Italian sausage. I have not used regular sausage in my cooking at home in a very long time. I have used pre-cooked or uncooked chicken sausages. They come in all kinds of flavors these days and are really tasty. They have Italian style also and spicy versions as well. So that’s what I will use. Whenever they are on sale or I have coupons I stock up. They freeze extremely well. Always good for a quick snack too if you get company. Just nuke em and slice em up. Stick a few toothpicks in and serve with mustard or whatever you have for dipping. Voila! If you don’t like spicy, use regular. No worries! I will also up the amount of garlic, hey, I’m Italian, I need my garlic! For now the photo is the one I got with the recipe, but as soon as I make this myself I will swap it for my own. Seems like I take pictures of every meal these days, just in case! If anybody makes it let me know!

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

¾ pound of spicy/hot uncooked Italian chicken sausages, casings removed

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 small head escarole, chopped into 1-2″ pieces, washed and lightly dried (a salad spinner is great for this)

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth/stock

1½ teaspoons red-wine vinegar; more to taste if needed

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (more if you want)

Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the oil in a heavy 5-6 quart Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5-6 minutes.

2. Add the sausage, raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon or spatula until lightly browned and broken into small (1″) pieces, 5-6 minutes.

3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stir in the beans. Add the escarole to the pot in batches; using tongs, toss with the sausage mixture to wilt the escarole and make room for more.

4. When all the escarole is in, add the chicken broth, cover the pot and cook until the beans are heated through and the escarole is tender, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with the vinegar and salt. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle each portion with the parmesan cheese.

Serves 3-4

Italian Chicken Chili Alfredo

Boy that’s a mouthful! I was trying to come up with a simple title but couldn’t. Originally when I made this I was going for a regular chili with chicken instead of ground beef. As I went along I kept changing my mind. I had also  just bought a jar of Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce and thought it would make a tasty addition. The sauce is a new product for the Classico line of sauces. It only has 60 calories and 5 grams of fat in ¼ cup. Compared to over 110 calories and 10 grams of fat for the same amount. It was really good and I didn’t feel bad about eating it!

I also added two kinds of beans to this recipe, white canellini beans and black beans. Another item I always have on hand in my freezer are those pre-cooked chicken sausages. They are really very good and lower in calories and fat. I usually have the Italian style which is what I used in this recipe. The chicken breast I used was the Perdue portion sized boneless breasts. They come in those individually wrapped packages. They were on sale and I had a coupon! I used the white wine and garlic seasoned ones but you can use any kind you want.

This was a great protein, fiber-filled meal. My husband really liked it and I can make it again so it’s a winner! Great for the fall or when you want an easy dinner. Leftovers are even better! If you want you can even add rice or pasta to the dish to stretch it even more. It’s up to you!

INGREDIENTS:

2 small onions (or 1 large), chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped (use less if you don’t like a lot of garlic)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound or so), cut into bite size pieces

2 Italian Style Chicken Sausages (precooked kind)

1 can (15-16 oz.) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15-16 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 small-medium tomato, chopped small

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

1 jar (15 oz.) Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce

2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Parmesan Cheese for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pan heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté the chicken pieces. Remove from pan and set aside when browned and mostly cooked, about 5 minutes.

2. In the same pan add the onion and garlic and sauté, on medium heat, till soft, about 5 minutes. Careful not to burn the garlic.

3. Add the mushrooms, sausage, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

4. Add the tomatoes and stir in. Add the beans and continue to stir and cook for another 3 minutes or so until beans are heated through.

5. Add the alfredo sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add fresh parsley and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Scallops ala Mediterranea

I love coming up with dishes made with those delicious bay scallops. They are so versatile and full of protein and goodness! This dish was another dinner when I had no idea what to make and just looked in the fridge and freezer to see what was there. And voilà! A great hearty protein filled dinner that was easy to make. I used a can of mushrooms in this recipe because I had them in my pantry, if I had fresh I would have used them instead. I am also a big fan of the chicken sausages out there on the market. I used the sun-dried tomato ones in this recipe. So good and less of the bad things usually in sausage. I use al Fresco brand quite a bit. They are gluten-free and no preservatives added either! If you can’t find any ingredient you can always substitute it with something you do have. No worries! The dish looks a bit like the Italian flag in color! Green, white and red! Very colorful if I do say so myself! And it is even good as leftovers, though there usually isn’t too many leftovers in my house!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound bay scallops

1 medium sweet (Vidalia) onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed (draining isn’t necessary as the liquid is good for this dish)

2 chicken & sun-dried tomato sausages, sliced and cut into bite size pieces

1 cup crumbled light feta cheese (or fat-free if you can find it)

¼ cup light sour cream

4 ounce can Portobello or shiitake mushrooms

1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

3 tablespoons olive oil

Locatelli Romano cheese to top finished dish (remember we love cheese!)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large sauté pan heat olive oil and sauté onions for a few minutes till they start to soften. Add garlic and sauté till it starts getting a little translucent.

2. Add scallops and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove scallops from pan and set aside.

3. Add the chopped sausage to pan, cook for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir well, cook another 5 minutes.

4. Add the mushrooms to mix and lower the heat to medium low and cook another 5 minutes, stirring often.

5. Add the scallops back to pan, stir well. Add the tomatoes and sour cream. Stir well till heated. Add the feta cheese, stir and serve! Top with the romano cheese as needed!

Serves 2-4 (depends on how hungry you are!)

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