So nutrition-wise, how bad is Italian sausage? Bad. Really bad.
Trouble is, taste-wise, Italian sausage is good. Really good. Really, really, really good. And it’s cheap and cooks up quickly with little attention. So on occasion, Italian sausage slips its way onto the menu. And the food police shouldn’t mind, so long as whoever’s in charge of the family’s nutrition knows what’s up.
Still, like pizza, Italian sausage always surprises me, in part because the best comes from small producers without nutrition labels.
And how bad can it be, right? In small portions, say. And cooked without added fat and served on a bed of healthful leafy greens.
Sorry, still bad. Still really bad.
But still so good. So very good.
Eat it and savor every bite. And if you follow the ‘you might as well the way you are’ school of nutrition, then spoon up a banana split for dessert.
If not, well, celery and water it is. Such is the cost of eating well. Really well.
ITALIAN SAUSAGE with GRAPES & GREENS
Time-to-table: 30 minutes
- 1 pound Italian sausage (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
- About ½ cup (but start with ¼ cup) fat-free chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, slivered
- 1 pound seedless red grapes, some whole, some halved
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound baby spinach, stems removed
- Salt & pepper to taste
Heat a large heavy skillet (see TIPS) on high. Once it’s very hot, add the sausage. Watching and turning carefully so not to burn, let brown a bit on all sides. Once it has color, add ¼ cup of the chicken broth and the onion, then reduce the heat a bit. Cook for about 8 minutes, adding more broth if the sausage starts to stick.
Add grapes and vinegar. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until grapes are warmed through and vinegar has begun to glaze the sausage and grapes. Push the sausage and grapes to the outer edge, leaving some liquid in center. Add the spinach in handfuls, letting each one cook down a bit before adding the next. Season greens with salt and pepper. Slice sausage and serve atop grapes and greens.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food writer Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.
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