Degreasing The Menu

Sometimes, the greasy food offers alot of comfort that you can't find anywhere else. Yet, it leaves you with a raging case of upset stomach, heartburn, not to mention the ton of calories you just packed in and the guilt that wrecks your mind. So it is with one of our favorite meals: Sausage, peppers, onions and fried potatoes.  That's right, FRIED potatoes. Not french fries, more akin to home fries.....sliced potatoes, fried up in a pool of boiling oil with onions thrown in for good measure.  Good for some part of the psyche, bad for everything else.  

So, since the last time I made it, and then felt nothing but shame afterward, I decided that it could indeed be done in such a manner as to retain the flavors without all the added fat, calories and subsequent humiliation.

Most of my recipes have been written and posted on Bukisa, yet today for some reason the site decided not to cooperate, 3/4 of the way through my post, and it froze. Hence, I gave up and will now share it here instead. Not sure how I'll proceed in the future, with writing the recipes, but for now, it's here:

Guilt-Free Sausage, Peppers and Potatoes

The Contents: 
  • 6-8 medium baby red potates
  • Turkey smoked sausage (we use Butterball brand, but I'm sure there are other varieties out there!) 
  • 1 medium onion (yellow or white, your preference) 
  • 2 bell peppers of any color (red, yellow, orange, green, white, purple, you pick...) 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • Handful of fresh parsley, stems removed unless you like the added chew (abt 1/4 C after chopping)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Coarse-ground black pepper
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray (Plain or Olive Oil-flavored)

Tools of the Cooking Trade:
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large spoon or spatula
  • Large baking/cookie sheet
  • Garlic press
  • Large knife for chopping herbs/veggies

The Process:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F 
  2. Wash potatoes thoroughly to remove any field debris/mud
  3. Cut each potato into quarters (half then half) 
  4. Place potatoes in bowl, add 1 Tbs olive oil and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper
  5. Stir to coat potatoes evenly
  6. Spray the baking sheet with nonstick spray
  7. Spread potatoes in a single layer on baking sheet and place in oven for 15 minutes. 
  8. Start cutting other stuff while potatoes are roasting
  9. Cut off root and stem ends of onion, cut it in half then peel
  10. Cut each onion half into 4-5 wedges
  11. Cut up bell peppers.  See the video below for instructions on cutting peppers if you've never done so.... I cut my peppers into approximately 1-inch chunks, but you can do wide strips or larger chunks too, whatever you like best.
  12. Cut turkey smoked sausages into 1-inch slices
  13. Chop parsley fine. I have learned, the hard way, that wet herbs are harder to chop. Wash the parsely before hand and allow it to air-dry, or wash it then squeeze it in paper towels to remove moisture before chopping. 
  14. Place sausage and veggies in the mixing bowl, then add pressed garlic.  If you don't own a garlic press, GET ONE. Failing that, you can peel and finely mince the clove or use canned, chopped garlic, about 1 tsp. 
  15. Add remaining oil, and another generous sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper. I would say, in total, I probably used 1 tsp each salt and pepper. 
  16. Stir to coat everything evenly
  17. Remove potatoes from the oven and stir them in, to blend everything together
  18. Spread EVERYTHING out on the baking sheet in a single layer 
  19. Roast the concoction for another 15-25 minutes, until vegetables are thoroughly cooked and caramelized
  20. SERVE. 

To preserve the flow of the list above, pictures are located right here: 

How to Cut Bell Peppers

Since turkey smoked sausage is way healthier than the normal beef/pork/mystery meat variety, it's way healthier....Of course, since I used the entire package in a meal that realistically would serve three people, we can do the math this way:  

Entire package: 700 calories, 42 g fat, 56 g protein, 28 g carbs / 3= 233.33333 calories, 14 g fat, 18.66666 g protein and 9.3333 g carbs. Not toooooooo bad, compared to regular higher fat varietals which come in at 16 g per serving, or 128 g of fat for the entire package, or divided by 3, giving you 42.6666 g of fat for this recipe. EEEEEEEEEEE Gads. Yeah my math is kind of sloppy, but in my defense, I could not get the Nutritional Value tables to sit right within this post. Sorry!!!!!!!!!   

Here's where I got the info, though: 

And that's just the sausage part of the meal.  When you take a regular preparation of fried taters and onions, you figure someone may be using at least 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetable oil.  Veg oil serving size comes in Tablespoon format.  There are 16 tablespoons in one cup. So 1 cup of regular veg oil = 16 x 14g fat per serving = 224 g of fat in one cup of oil  Christ almighty!  Add the calories, and just go ahead and check yourself into the hospital NOW....do not pass go, do not even bother eating the potatoes.....Those 16 tablespoons of oil, at 120 calories each, add up to 1920 calories.....that's just the OIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! even divided by 3, and without adding the meat in...you're pretty much done.  

So, at this point without doing the nutritional value of the entire recipe, I already know that the oven-roasting provides a MUCH healthier alternative to the normal fried taters and sausage meal. While I could still do better, for now, it's a start, and I can make improvements over time, or just eat it infrequently, so as to keep it at a moderate level.  Moderation, IS, in fact, KEY. 

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