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Well, between a brief trip to San Francisco a week ago and the past week one of eating out more than cooking in, I’ve neglected the stove of late. One consequence I’ve noticed is that even when I try to make healthier food choices eating out, I find I just don’t feel as good overall as when I have control over my ingredients and portions.

Now, that said, I did have two particularly fantastic meals in San Fran. The first day I was there, I walked down from the Intercontinental Hotel on Howard St. where I was staying, to a restaurant I sourced from reviews on Yelp.com and EaterSF.com. Fang, a Chinese restaurant and off-shoot of the popular Chinatown restaurant House of Naking. There were only a couple other people in the place as it was just past 1, when I got there. I had the spicy wor dumpling soup and the honey glazed beef on marinated baby bok choy. Oh wow…..were both amazing. I am still thinking about the soup in particular and how flavorful it was and how the mixture of seafood, beef and chicken along with the pork dumplings, were beyond tender and tasty.

The next evening a group of us from the conference walked to a SoMa (south of Market) French bistro called Fringale. it too was a delightful gastronomical experience. I noshed on a frisee salad with croutons and poached egg and warm bacon dressing and as the entree I had the veal shortribs, which were nothing short of fantastic. I usually do not eat dessert and I probably should have skipped it here, but I couldn’t pass on a caramel sundae, which I actually did regret eating later.

Anyway, in light of those unquestionable indulgences, it was time to get back on track with moderate, healthy eating. After an afternoon in the sun wandering the Fremont St. Fair here in Portland, we came home and I decided to whip up a Sausage and Broccoli Casserole that I had recently come upon a recipe for. It was easy and tasty and best of all low-fat and healthy!

Sausage and Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients
12 oz bread, cubed (I used what else, Franz white bread)
Red onion, diced
4 cups broccoli florets
12 oz raw italian turkey or chicken sausage [I used Isernio hot italian chicken sausage links)
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, Adobo seasoning, red pepper flakes
3/4 cup low-fat sharp shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Cover baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread bread cubes on sheet and coat with cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic powder and Adobo seasoning to taste. Bake for approximately 20 min, stirring once. When removed from oven, reduce oven heat to 350. [Note: you could likely substitute croutons for this step or I even thought afterwards, why not just use a box of “Stovetop Stuffing.”

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli, and set aside.

In nonstick skillet, cook sausage (crumble bulk sausage or remove link sausage from casing) and diced onion. Break up sausage with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in broccoli, bread cubes, broth, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon about half the broccoli/sausage mixture into prepared dish; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with remaining broccoli mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. 
Bake until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving

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