One of the biggest challenges with our new fitness regimen has been getting in enough lean protein. I think I mentioned before that it includes a diet plan which is very lean, and starts out low in carbs, higher in protein (gradually tapering off to a very sustainable and carb-rich diet for energy). Since we don’t consume dairy or soy, this means protein powders, eggs, fish, and meat.
I must confess, I am not a big egg fan, and I have never been a big meat consumer either … even dabbling in vegan cooking regularly. However, I have found some ways to sneak in some of that lean protein in an enjoyable way. One of them is breakfast sausage! Of course, pork would be a wee bit too fatty, so we opted for a nice, homemade turkey sausage.
I went ultra-lean on this sausage, but for a juicier end product I have included recipes for “leaner” and “lean” turkey sausage. All are low-carb (obviously!) but lean will have the best texture while maintainig some virtue, and ultra-lean will suit super low-fat dieters.
Turkey Breakfast Sausage (Lean to Ultra-Lean)
Starting with the Spices … Combine all of the following spices, either leaving them whole, giving them a five or six pulses together in your spice grinder (my preferred method), or whizzing them to a powder in your spice grinder.
- 1/2 to 3/4 Teaspoon Salt (I like 3/4 – but it will still be good with 1/2)
- 1 Teaspoon Fennel Seed
- 1 Teaspoon Sage
- 1 Teaspoon Thyme
- 1 Teaspoon Pepper, White and/or Black (I use a mix of white and black freshly ground peppercorns)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- Generous Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
Choose your meat …mix your spices into 1 lb of Ground Turkey, choosing ONE of the folllowing …
- Lean – Use 1 lb of 93% Fat-Free Ground Turkey (best for egg-free)
- Leaner – Use 1 lb of 97% Fat-Free Ground Turkey
- Ultra-Lean – Use 1 lb of 99% Fat-Free Ground White Turkey Meat
Let it Rest … If time permits, cover and chill for at least an hour (preferably overnight) to allow the flavors to meld. If you are in a hurry, skip this step and move ahead to the next one.
Add Some Moisture … Combine ONE of the following egg options into the meat to add a little moisture into that turkey meat …
Time to Cook … Spray a skillet with cooking spray (or use 1 teaspoon of oil) and heat it over medium heat. Scoop the ground turkey (it will be very moist if you added egg, I use an ice cream scoop) into your skillet and flatten it with the back of a spatula. Cover and allow the patties to cook for 3 minutes. Flip, cover again, and allow them to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the turkey is cooked through. Don’t cook them too long, as the meat will dry out, but make sure there is no pink left in the middle. And serve.
Yields 4 servings (about 8 2-ounce patties)