Monday, January 31, 2011

Recipe of the Week! Chicken Sausage Cassoulet

I saw this recipe in this month's issue of Fitness Magazine. To be honest, I'm not really too sure exactly what a cassoulet is or if I ever made one. Apparently it's the french term for a one pot meal. This recipe caught my eye because I have a Le Creuset Dutch Oven (every time I say Dutch Oven Mr. Allan laughs and thinks it means farting under the covers and holding the sheets down).  I scored it at TJ Maxx for $49, probably because it's lime green, but who cares...they retail for around $ it was the deal of the century for me!

So, any time I can use it, I love to especially since it cooks so evenly and you can pop the whole pot right in the oven as well. Here are some shots from the process of making my cassoulet!

I started off with some fresh chicken sausage. I cooked it on my stove top first

Once it cooled, I sliced it up

Some other ingredients...white cannellini beans

My veggies...ready to be washed, peeled and cut

I sauteed and onion, some shallots, and then added in the sweet potato, butternut squash, some fresh sage (that totally made this recipe for me!), dried thyme.

I then added in the already cooked sausage and topped with a mixture of panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and into the oven it went

Here's my trusty Fitness you can see from the recipe..I deviated a bit and used some chicken sausage vs. the turkey sausage

 This was the cassoulet right out of the oven

Once it cooled a little was dinner. The whole cassoulet was 4 servings and these were some pretty good sized servings, which always makes a recipe a plus in my book! We actually got 6 servings out of the recipe vs. the 4 that the nutrional info is based on.

So what did I like about this was some good wintertime comfort like food but without all the cheese, cream and other bad things. I loved the combo of butternut squash and sweet potatoes and as I said above, the fresh sage smelled so good and completely made this recipe!

Chicken (or Turkey) Sausage Casoulet
from Fitness Magazine
Makes 4 servings

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots (minced)
4 fresh chicken or turkey sausage links
1 medium sweet potato peeled and cubed
2 cups butternut squash peeled and cubed (this was about 1/2 of a medium sized squash)
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp fresh sage chopped
1 16 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup whole grain panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 375.

In a saute or skillet, cook sausage. Once done, remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, slice and set aside.

Heat a large Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and saute onion and shallots with a pinch of salt. Saute for 5-10 minutes until soft.

Add sweet potato, squash, broth, thyme, sage, and beans to the Dutch Oven. Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix bread crumbs and cheese. Add remaining 1/2 tbsp of oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the mixture in the Dutch Oven.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts:
(just a note...when buying my sausage..the chicken sausage has less fat than the brand of turkey sausage I looked at. This nutritional info is based on making the recipe with Turkey sausage...I believe my version with chicken sausage will have less fat than this nutritional info listed.)
408 calories/18 g of fat/23 g of protein, 9 g of fiber.

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