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? 😉
Sounds delicious! I really like the idea of making the patties ahead of time and freezing them. Makes for a quick, healthy breakfast. Plus, you know exactly what you are eating!
Confession time!! Nick and I eat McDonald’s breakfast every time we go on a road trip. Usually wherever we stay has some type of continental breakfast, but it’s never good. This past weekend I wanted eggs SO BAD and our hotel’s eggs were like styrofoam with bottled cheese squirted into it. Gross. So we stopped at McDonald’s and bought the large breakfast combo. I ate part of the biscuits and two servings of egg. Nick ate the hashbrown and sausage 🙂
I LOVE your McMuffin recreation!! I recreated their breakfast burrito once and was pleasantly surprised.
I lived on McDonald’s breakfast in Vegas the second time around that I was there. It’s not something I’d normally go for (I prefer making it on my own or going to a sit-down place), but it does hit the spot when push comes to shove.
Yum. I usually can’t eat McDonald’s without feeling sick to my stomach these days but when I occasionally indulge in those sausage egg mcmuffins it’s like magic. I can’t wait to try your homemade, lightened up version!
Yes! I love fast breakfast solutions, especially ones high in protein!! Will have to put this on my “need to make” list.
My guilty pleasure when I lived in Georgia was the chicken biscuit from Chick fil-a.
It was heaven – especially the biscuit!
Hey Nicole – love your turkey sausage – FYI, next time you are in OP (or have your Momma get it for you) Penzey’s spices on Lake Street has an “Italian sausage” seasoning – I sprinkle it in with Italian dishes and it really gives it an Italian sausage flavor – I even put some in my meat mixture for my stuffed peppers tonight – yum!
OMG, just made the pumpkin scones – although I was lazy and made them into “drop biscuits” and using my 1/3 measuring cup got 8 scones for 7 ww points – yum!
Wow awesome idea to make the breakfast sausages yourself. As for McDonalds, I tend to stay away from fast food as much as possible (although I have a weakness for Taco Bell). But I do enjoy their Breakfast as a guilty pleasure sometimes.
I love breakfast sandwiches. My favorite ones are from my local coffee shop. I really ought to start making sausage. It sounds so easy and you can customize it to your taste.
I have such a guilty weakness for breakfast sandwiches– I don’t eat them that often, but when I do, I think, “MAN these are good!!!”
McDonalds breakfast may be my favorite fast food of all time. You just cant beat it.
Im impressed you made your own breakfast sausage. That is something that would never occur to me.
Am I the only person who thinks McDonalds food is the worst? I really don’t like it (and I don’t mean that in a smug, ‘I eat healthy all the time’ kinda way. I just really don’t like anything on their menu)
I’m sure that with all the herbs and spices in your turkey sausage that it tastes way better than mickyd’s. I like that you made a whole batch and froze them. Clever, clever.
Congrats on the job too! My sister used to teach group fitness classes before she moved to the states (where she can’t because it’s not on her visa) and she LOVED it. I was thinking of getting certified to teach too…I’d love to do a kickboxing-style workout.
I can’t wait to try this! I love all the seasonings in the turkey!!
This sounds amazing! I love a good breakfast sandwich. I usually end up making mine without the sausage, but I know I will be making these for next time.
Hi Nicole. Your McMuffin looks WAY better than the kind you get in a drive through. Congrats on the gym job!!! You’ll be amazing! and I’ve venturing over to the food pic site now. Have a wonderful Tuesday!!!
IM pressive! My BF would LOVE this for bkst…hummmm, might have to save for some brownie points! Congrats on the new job and will be sure to check out the new website. Thanks!
I love egg sandwiches and eat one practically every morning for breakfast! I love how filling they are. I love using American cheese and we typically do ham since it only take one second to heat up in the mornings. These look so good and I’m already hungry again for tomorrow’s breakast! 🙂
What program are you using for your recipes? I’m totally digging the print this button and how nice and neat your recipes are!
I just use a “print this” plug-in for wordpress.org, I love it. Super simple…just highlight the recipe in my post and click the printer button!
YUM! I recently made my own turkey sausage too, but this sounds a lot more flavorful! Congrats on the gym job!
I totally need to start making my own turkey (or chicken) sausages. That would certainly save me some money!
I never thought to make my own turkey sausage – great idea – and thanks for the recipe – I’ll certainly be trying that 🙂
I LOVE Egg McMuffins but now that I’m gluten intolerant they are not even an option for sometimes treats. I’ve been wanting to make these at home more often. Just need to remember to get the stuff…
I have loved Egg McMuffins (and alas, BK Croissantwiches too) from the first time I had one back in the 1980s. I make my own at home too and really appreciate your homemade turkey sausage recipe to save more calories and have something without all that fat. I could never go back to eating cold cereal for breakfast or just a muffin. It’s funny how we become addicted to protein! Gotta have it!
(I can’t understand hotels who offer breakfast with no protein and always tell them what is missing).
IF you use a ring mold (aka tuna can) you can scramble the egg and create an egg patty for the sandwich. It will also make hard or over easy eggs perfectly round to fit on a muffin/bagel thin.