When I was diagnosed with PCOS nearly 2 years ago, I wanted to make every effort to include plenty of protein in each of my meals, especially breakfast. My love for make-ahead meals and carbohydrates make the protein in the mornings a challenge, but I keep trying.
During a weak moment on the Skyway heading from Chicago to Columbus one dreary, Sunday morning, I found myself in the drive-thru of McDonalds. I ordered a Sausage McMuffin with Egg, a small orange juice, and a large coffee. I figured that was breakfast, lunch, and plenty of fat to ring in the morning after a party-hardy wedding the night before.
It came as no surprise that the McMuffin hit the spot. I would choose McDonald’s breakfast over any other fast food option (there, I said it). And then it came to me…(or maybe it was when I saw the whole wheat English muffins for $1)…why not make these at home? Duh.
As someone who knows exactly what I want from the grocery store, I don’t spend a lot of time researching new products. I know what I want, and I get it. And grocery stores seem to test my patience a bit too much. But new to breakfast sausage, I perused my options. When I saw “turkey fat” was ingredient in one turkey breakfast sausage option, I decided then and there that making my own was a much safer (and healthier) route to go.
In order to make this an option for busy weekday mornings, I made the breakfast sausage, cooked and everything, and froze the patties. I grab one from the freezer and zap it in the microwave for about 90 seconds. It takes about 4 minutes to “fry” and egg in a spritz of cooking spray, and about the same amount of time to toast an English muffin. Including throwing my pan and spatula in the dishwasher, I can have a protein-packed, FILLING breakfast in 6 minutes flat. That’s less time than it takes to get through any drive-thru. Plus, I save myself over 100 calories, 14 grams of fat (52% less!), 37% less sodium, 14 grams more protein, and 2 grams more fiber. Yes, please!
Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patties very slightly adapted from Taste of Home
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
white pepper, dash
cayenne pepper, dash
ground allspice, dash
ground cloves, dash
ground nutmeg, dash
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Shape into six patties. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook patties over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Yield: 6 servings.
Nutrition Information (per patty): 94 calories; 2.3 g. fat; 43 mg. cholesterol; 235 mg. sodium; 0 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 17.3 g. protein
Result: Tangy and perfectly seasoned just as a breakfast sausage should be. If you think you’ll miss pork sausage…give these a shot. I bet these will convert you to turkey with no kicking or screaming…delicious![/print_this]
All together now!
Lightened Up Sausage Egg and Cheese McMuffin
1 whole wheat English muffin
1 slice reduced-fat cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
1 sausage patty (recipe above)
Toast English muffin in a toaster or toaster oven.
Hard fry egg in non-stick cooking spray.
Microwave pre-made and frozen sausage patty (above) for 1 minute on high.
Assemble sandwich and eat immediately! Yield: 1 breakfast sandwich.
Nutrition Information (per sandwich): 346 calories; 13 g. fat; 269 mg. cholesterol; 578 mg. sodium; 28 g. carbohydrate; 4 g. fiber; 35 g. protein
Result: As a huge fan of McDonald’s breakfast, this passes with flying colors. You want to think you’re “cheating”, but really, you’re starting off the morning with a lean, protein-packed meal with LOTS of staying power. These come together in about 6 minutes from start to finish (yes, I have this down to a science). Enjoy!
If you couldn’t tell, I’ve been enjoying these breakfast sandwiches a LOT lately. They are so filling and for days when I teach for 5 hours straight, they’re perfect.
I want to quickly share 2 tidbits, too!
First, I did get the job at the gym! However, between my schedule and theirs, I am going to slowly complete the trainings and look to start teaching in the January time frame. I just couldn’t commit to more than 1-2 classes a week at this point, so they are working with me on this, which is great.
Secondly, I found a new site to share! I know many of you, like myself, enjoy drooling over the stunning photos seen at both Foodgawker and Tastespotting. Well, there’s a new “food porn” site devoted to HEALTHY recipes, Healthy Aperture. If you’re looking for new, healthy recipe to try (or drool over)…head on over!
Question: Do you like McDonalds breakfast? Or breakfast sandwiches? 😉