Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Turn a Vegetable into a Main Course

This is NOT an attempt to turn anyone into a vegetarian.  I recently had a conversation at the health food store with a lady that told me an average serving of meat(animal protein) should be the size of a deck of cards.  Each time you eat that much meat, you should have 3 times that amount of green, leafy vegetables.  I can promise you, our household rarely meets that proportion.  But it gave me some ideas.  This month's(Nov.2010) issue of Bon Appetit magazine had several wonderful veggie recipes suggested for Thanksgiving.  I took those, eliminated some butter and simplified, added turkey sausage and turned them into weeknight dinners.  Here are two- and before you say "yuck!" my family voted them both "keepers".

Sauteed Shredded Brussel Sprouts
 with Turkey Sausage and Toasted Pecans

2lbs brussel sprouts
4 tbsps olive oil
5 turkey sausage links
1 garlic clove
1 cup lowfat chicken broth
1/2 cup toasted pecans

Slice the turkey sausage into diagonal rounds 1/4 inch thick.  In a heavy skillet saute sausage until lightly browned and cooked through(5 minutes).  Meanwhile, trim the root ends from the brussel sprouts and shred them(you can use a food processor).  Remove cooked sausage from pan and set aside, add olive oil and 1 large minced garlic clove.  Saute garlic until fragrant then add brussel sprouts and chicken broth stirring until they turn bright green and start to wilt.  When most of the broth has evaporated, add sausage back into the pan and toss in the pecans.

As you can see, I served this with leftover mashed potatoes just in case my kids didn't like it and the mashed potatoes were left on the plate!

Iron Skillet Succotash - Grilled Turkey Sausage- Sauteed Spinach

olive oil
1 yellow onion- cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 zucchini-cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 yellow squash-1/2 inch cubes
1red bell pepper- 1/2 inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper-1/2 inch cubes
1 10 ounce pkg shelled edamame
dried marjoram
Turkey Sausages
12 oz. spinach leaves
1 garlic clove

This is so simple!  Grill the turkey sausages one per family member.  In a heavy skillet use about 3 TBSP olive oil and add the onion first, sauteing until golden(5 min) then add squash and bell peppers saute 5 minutes until starting to soften then add partially thawed edamame and saute another 5 minutes.  After you throw in the edamame, start 1 TBSP olive oil in another pan and add crushed garlic clove and then toss spinach until wilted. 

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth - I agree that protein is WAY over-rated. As a past competitive body-builder and power lifter who existed on a high-protein/low-carb diet for years, I can attest to the fact that veggies are the way to go! My diet consists of veggies, fruit, nuts, and small amount of proteins. Due to sensitivity to grains, I am unable to eat most grains so I get all of my carbs from veggies & fruit. I have a rigorous training schedule which consists of tons of cardio, calisthenics, yoga & Pilates. Many of my work days end with a total of 5 hours of exercise. I recently underwent a blood profile to make sure I was not deficient in any essential vitamins, minerals, etc. The blood work came back PERFECT! No deficiencies! I have more energy now than I did when I was body building & looked like I could take on the world! While I may have a little more fat on my body than during my body building years, I feel better, my skin & hair are healthier and my whole outlook on life is more positive.