Healthy Sausage? – Guest Blog

This blog is by Frank Plughoff, fellow health coach and my boyfriend. He is a great cook. I would have never tried to make healthy sausage. If you love breakfast food, this sausage is yum!

There’s a lot of buzz around weight loss and the slow-carb diet. And it seems to work for many. One premise for its success is in keeping one’s blood sugar levels constant and reduced hunger throught the day.. The basic rules are, avoid white, starchy carbohydrates – don’t drink your calories – don’t eat fruit and have one cheat day a week. Of course it’s a little more complicated than that, but the information is easily found.

The slow-carb diet has been reemphasized by Timothy Ferris in his book, The Four Hour Body. In interviews, and on YouTube videos, Ferris says that just by eating 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking, even while not following the meal plan otherwise, a person can dramatically lose weight.

When looking into this, I began to wonder what is 30 grams of protein? If you look at eggs alone, one would have to eat FIVE whole eggs to get 30 grams of protein. I don’t know about you, but a plate of five eggs doesn’t sound appealing. I began to wonder what else could be substituted. Of course for the health conscious spinach, peas and broccoli could be used, but then there would be a LOT of bulk within 30 minutes of waking.  And, I’m looking for a more traditional breakfast.

Which brings me to this… chicken, of course, has more protein than any vegetable and surprisingly, it has more than even beef.  It only takes 3.5 ounces of chicken breast meat to yield 30 grams of protein. So when pondering the chicken and egg dilemma, 5 eggs equal 400 calories and whopping 1,400mg of cholesterol! Compare that to 3.5 ounces of chicken breast, which has only 178 calories, and 77mg of cholesterol. I think chicken for breakfast seems a better choice! But who wants to eat chicken for breakfast?

So the question remained, how to make the chicken palatable for breakfast.  From the estate of her parents, my wonderful girlfriend inherited a 1940’s, hand-cranked meat grinder. On the original box it cost an astonishing $3.49 in its day. Itching to try it, I decided on chicken sausage and set out experimenting.

Here’s a recipe for a traditionally tasting breakfast chicken sausage:

• 1 to 1 1/4 lb. organic, boneless, skinless chicken breasts

• 2 teaspoons dried, rubbed sage

* 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

• 1 teaspoon ground white (for digestibility) pepper

• 1/3 teaspoon dried marjoram

• 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

• 1 tablespoon organic dark brown sugar

• 4 whole cloves

• a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

• 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of mesquite spice

• a spot of liquid smoke

To prepare the spices:

Add all the dry spices to a coffee bean grinder and blend until uniform. You’ll know when it’s ready by the sound; the clicking of the salt and cloves will eventually stop. Transfer into a ramekin being careful not to inhale the fine powder – it will make you sneeze uncontrollably.  Taking a basting brush, gently tease any left over spices from the grinder into the ramekin… nothing is worse than coffee that tastes like sausage.


To prepare the meat:

Rinse the chicken thoroughly in cold water and pat dry. Make sure the grinder is completely sanitized and firmly affixed to your working surface. Place a shallow baking dish underneath the exit of the grinder and grind approximately 2/3 of the chicken with the regular course blade (the one with the holes all the way around the circumference). Grind the remaining chicken with a finer blade – this will assure the patties will stick together well.

To prepare the sausage:

Taking a shallow glass baking dish, sprinkle 4 or 5 drops of liquid smoke into the dish. Spread this around the bottom of the dish evenly. (Adding the liquid smoke to the chicken directly is a disaster because it will never get evenly mixed into the sausage and someone will get a very unpleasant bite.)

Spread the chicken evenly in the baking dish and flatten out. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the spice mixture on top. Moisten your hands with water and fold the layer of chicken over itself and gently mix by hand. Flatten the chicken mixture again and add another third of the spices and fold and mix. Repeat the last two steps once more, adding the remaining spices. One completely mixed, immediately transfer into a container and refrigerate.

That’s all there is to it! Now to easily and deliciously get your 30 grams of protein in the morning – just moisten your hands; make 2 balls of the sausage mixture slightly larger than a golf ball. Flatten them out and they’re ready to cook. Remember, chicken has little fat so you’ll have to oil the pan first. Cook on medium heat (too high and they will blacken from the added brown sugar). To hasten the cooking time put a lid on for the first side, flip and brown the second side and enjoy!

Of course you can adjust the spices any way that suites you. You could even depart from the traditional breakfast sausage flavor and go for a completely different cuisine. You could make a Thai sausage using ginger, cilantro and chile. Or perhaps you could add a Burmese flair using onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric and chile. Or you could go with an Indian flare by adding curry spices.

Whether traditional or your own spiced creation, chicken sausage adds a new and healthier alternative to your slow-cab breakfast.

By: Frank Plughoff CHHC

If you find that you are going to begin the New Year with a couple extra pounds, or you’d just like to shake off the holiday haze, then please join me for the January 10-Day Energy Jumpstart, which begins on January 16th.

Over 10 days you will lose a few pounds, get off caffeine and sugar, increase your energy and clarity and get to enjoy what healthy feels like. This whole foods cleanse is a great way to start the New Year!

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