The accidental murder of loved ones was a major concern when I first started cooking, especially when it came to self-created meals. I wasn’t too sure about roasting times or acceptable done-ness, so salmonella was a frightening spectre, hovering over my every meal like the possibility of nuclear obliteration during the Cold War. Subsequently, there were copious warm and fuzzy feelings whenever I failed to poison my circle of comrades.
Death and destruction have become lesser issues in the last few years, though I secretly pump my fist when guests are discovered alive the next day. Now, I’m equally concerned about taste, and developing it enough so that nothing is launched at my head, a la the Animal House cafeteria scene.
These dual properties – flavor and the eschewal of the choir invisible – are what guided Light Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches. Sweet Italian turkey sausage has a nice little kick (without the fat, natch), and cutting each link into disc-sized chunks means a quick, thorough cooking time. This is super-important, since turkey sausage isn’t pre-cooked, unlike kielbasa and other prepared meats.
I should mention (and here’s where the safety issues come in) whenever I cook meat and vegetables in the same pan, I sauté the veggies first, move them to the outside of the pan, and then brown the meat in the space left. Once the chicken/pork/whatever is sufficiently cooked through, I stir everything back in together and heat for another few minutes. I’ve never become ill from meals prepared this way. (Neither have my friends, family, arch enemies, etc.)
HOWEVER (big however), some may not advocate this approach, and will cook the meat in another pan entirely. If you’re not comfortable with my method, please feel free to go with the extra-safe option. This goes double if you have kids. I like to think my digestive system is bullet-and-botulism proof, but children are no doubt a bit more susceptible to sickness.
Anyway, the sandwiches are really good in the end. The Boyfriend lurved them. (Lurve being the most intense form of love one can have for a sandwich.) They make a full meal, too, so there’s no need for a side. Plus, the sandwiches go really well with a glass of heart-helping red wine. And that can never be unhealthy. (Um, unless, again with the kids.)
Light Italian Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches
1 T olive oil
1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin strips (1/3")
1 medium onion, cut into thin strips
2 sweet Italian turkey sausages, cut into 1/3" - 1/2" rounds
About 2 T red wine (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 oz. part-skim mozzarella, grated
1 large fancy sandwich roll, halved and gutted
1) Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add veggies and saute until they're soft and beginning to brown.
2) Move veggies to outskirts of pan, then place sausage, piece by piece, into middle of pan. Leave for about 2-3 minutes, until they're pretty firm on the bottom.
3) Stir everything all together, and cook until sausage is done. If you're using wine, add it wine now. Scrape bottom of pan, and cook long enough so the wine dissolves.
4) Turn off heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add mixture to warm bun. Top with mozz (which should melt).
Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price per Serving
372.5 calories, 19.2 g fat, $1.86
1 T olive oil: 120 calories, 14 g fat, $0.08
1 green pepper: 24 calories, 0.2 g fat, $0.81
1/2 red pepper: 15 calories, 0.2 g fat, $0.46
1 medium onion; 46 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.20
2 sweet Italian turkey sausages: 220 calories, 14 g fat, $1.00
About 2 T red wine: 26 calories, 0 g fat, $0.15
salt and pepper: negligible fat and calories, $0.02
2 oz. part-skim mozzarella: 144 calories, 9 g fat, $0.50
1 large fancy sandwich roll: 150 calories, 1 g fat, $0.50
TOTAL: 745 calories, 38.5 g fat, $3.72
PER SERVING: (TOTAL/2): 372.5 calories, 19.2 g fat, $1.86