Loving the BITE: Autumn, Apples, and Sausage

sausapplebakeNothing quite says October like Cycling in the leaves, Apples and Sausage.  Well, maybe beer.  But, since I’m the nutritionist and cook, and not the brew-master, I’ll stick to what I know.  This week, we’ll cut to the chase with a quick, easy, delicious Autumn dinner. It will include some nutrition powerhouse ingredients (you know what they say about apples and doctors).  And, some that are more of a splurge. I know, I know, sausage is not exactly the pinnacle of nutrition.  So, I’ll direct you to the best choices for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, and let you know why it’s an apple a day around here.

Recipe of the Week:  Easy Apple Sausage Bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb all-natural sausage, sliced into 1-inch pieces  (I use kitchen shears for fast slicing, sausage can be any meat including pork, chicken, turkey, or vegetarian)
  • 4 small apples, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 deg F.
  2. Place all ingredients in large baking dish.
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until sausage is cooked through (should be brown throughout).
  4. Serve with grilled, sauteed, baked, or fresh veggies (remember, 1/2-plate of vegetables every night!).
  5. Drizzle the main dish with a small amount of mustard, if you’d like.
  6. Enjoy and thank me later.

Comments:

Sure, 90% of the time I eat and serve very healthy foods and dishes.  And, by healthy, I do not mean low-fat.  I mean loads of vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins, fruits, spices, and other real, natural foods.  But, once in a while, maybe 10% of the time, it’s okay to splurge, too.  Sausage to me, is a splurge.  And, if you keep it to real-food ingredients of meat and spices, not too bad of one at all.  Here’s some tips for your Octoberfest:

  • Look for organic and natural sausage options.  It may seem like this is of little value when considering a processed meat, but I recommend being more vigilant than ever.  Organic options should ensure quality to the meat, and are a good place to start.
  • Look for sausages that are 100% of the meat you’re choosing.  If pork, beef, chicken, turkey, etc., they should be 100% of this type of meat.
  • If going for a reduced amount of saturated fat, go for a poultry-based sausage.  Of note, I don’t believe you must eat low-saturated fat at all times, especially in the midst of a whole-food, healthy, low-sugar and low-refined carb, fresh diet.
  • Avoid sausages with added preservatives or other “flavor” additives, such as MSG and nitrates. For high flavor, a sausage should have vegetable salts, spices, and chilis.
  • If using a soy-based tofu product, always ensure organic and no GMOs, and look through the ingredients to make sure you’re familiar with all of them.

Most everyone recognizes apples as nutrition all-stars. But why? What makes them stand out?  Here’s more info on the real nutrition star of this meal.  Eat an apple, and you’ll get:

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