Monday, May 12, 2014

Meal Monday: Homemade Italian Sausage!

As promised last Tuesday, today I am beginning a new weekly feature here on the blog, entitled Meal Mondays, where I'll share a new recipe (or two or three) with you each Monday for you to use to bless your family and friends. I'm super excited about today's recipe, so without further ado, here we go!

We all have several of them: recipes (such as lasagna, pizza, various soups and casseroles, spaghetti, manicotti, and the list goes on) which call for that tasty ingredient known as Italian sausage. But along with that oftentimes comes all the yucky, bad-for-you additives and preservatives found in store-bought Italian sausage, such as, among other harmful things, sodium nitrites, which have been proven to cause colon cancer and many other intestinal problems. In addition, store-bought Italian sausage can be extremely high in fat and calories. Well, now you don't have to worry about all that anymore, because what follows is a super easy, quick, amazingly yummy recipe for homemade Italian sausage! You're welcome. ;) 

Homemade Italian Sausage

1lb.  lean ground turkey or ground beef

2 tsp. crushed fresh garlic (I use the minced garlic from a jar right now, though I want to get out of  doing that)

2 tsp. ground paprika

1/2 tbsp whole fennel seeds (these are not as hard to find as they may seem-most any grocery store or health food store should have them down the spices aisle)

1 tsp dried Italian seasoning (or a heaping tsp as I like to do ;) )

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1. Place all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to blend.

2. To precook for use in recipes, coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray (if you have a cast iron skillet,  use it and do not spray it first!), and preheat over medium heat (or less, if using cast iron-it holds its heat very well!). Add the sausage, and cook, stirring to crumble (or, here's a shout-out to my favorite Pampered Chef item-use the amazing Mix 'N Chop instead!), until the meat is no longer pink. Use as directed in your recipe. Enjoy! :)

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