This year, my husband and I decided to take a different approach to Christmas morning breakfast. Instead of our traditional hearty and heavy a.m. holiday feast, which usually features some sort of rich stuffed french toast in a pool of butter and maple syrup with a double side of Sweet and Spicy Bacon, we decided to try something healthier. Our hope was that we wouldn't come down off of a sugar-high and be ready for a nap before the first present was even opened.
WAIT! Don't let the notion of a healthy breakfast scare you away to the Dunkin' Donuts website (Nothing against Dunkin' Donuts--I personally love them, especially their coffee.) I promise you that there is not a flax seed nor an oat flake in either of these recipes. These are two delicious, healthful and filling breakfast or brunch options to feed a crowd of all kinds of people. They are full of protein and lower in fat or sugar then your typical pancake or waffle meal. The turkey sausage tastes just like "the real thing," if not better, and the frittata, which I like to describe as a quiche without the crust, is easy to alter so that the ingredients are ones that everyone likes. They are easy to prepare, easy to clean up, and they look and taste delicious. Serve them with some whole grain toast and fruit salad for a complete feast. Here are some tips for these two recipes:
- To make this healthy dish even lower in fat and calories, you can substitute 4 whole eggs and 6 egg whites for the 8 eggs. I do not recommend substituting all egg whites, as it changes the fluffiness and overall taste and texture too much.
- Instead of fontina cheese, try using Gruyere, Gouda, goat cheese, cheddar, or even feta. If you only want to use one type of cheese for the entire fritttata, you may (instead of sprinkling the 1/4 cup of Parmesan on top.)
- The frittata will keep for one day in the refrigerator. One of my favorite ways to serve leftover frittata is as a frittata sandwich. Butter two pieces of toasted crusty bread, place a warmed slice of frittata between them, and voila!
- Experiment with different vegetables for the frittata. Try zucchini, red bell peppers, fennel, shallots, or even shelled edamame.
- When grating the apple for the turkey sausage, I have found that the easiest method is to use my mini-chopper. It grates the apple in seconds, and then I just squeeze handfuls over the sink to get the juice out before transferring it to the bowl.
- If you have any leftover sausage mixture, use it to make unique and savory turkey burgers.
- Sausage patties can be formed 1 day ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap. Cooked patties can be made one day ahead and reheated in a 350F degree oven for 15 minutes.
8 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the broiler and place the top oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the broiler element.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper until the eggs are frothy. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and fontina cheese and whisk to blend. Set aside.
In a 10-inch non-stick oven proof skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they are soft and lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the parsley and with the pan over medium heat, pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Cook, lifting the edges with a rubber spatula to let the eggs flow underneath, until the edges are set but the middle is still loose, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and sprinkle the top with the Parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler until the eggs are slightly puffed and the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully to prevent overcooking. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes and then carefully slide the frittata onto a serving plate or platter. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Slice and serve.
Turkey Sausage with Apples and Sage
1 pound ground turkey
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Form sausage mixture into 3-inch patties, about 1/2 inch thick using moistened hands. Arrange the patties on a waxed paper lined tray or plate. Refrigerate for one hour.
Spray a large skillet or grill pan with non-stick cooking spray. Grill or saute the patties over medium-high heat, turning once, until cooked through, about 6 minutes.