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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Kale Sweet Pot Sausage Bake

Sausage Doesn't Have to Be Off Limits

Much like its breakfast competitor, bacon, everything tastes better with sausage. Whether it's a sausage lasagna or sausage on top of pizza, Americans have grown accustomed to seeing the meaty protein in various dishes. While sausage is simply ground meat stuffed into a casing, different types of sausage can yield very different tasting cuisine.

Italian sausage is generally what you'd find on top a pizza or in lasagna. Its made with pork and can be sweet, mild or hot. It's often ground and crumbled, but it can also be bought in links and grilled or sautéed. Chorizo is a pork sausage used in Mexican and Spanish cultures. It's made with smoked dried red chili peppers and is delicious in fajitas.

Andouille sausage is heavily smoked and most often associated with Cajun cuisine, such as jambalaya and gumbo. It's traditionally made with pork but can also be found with ground chicken for a lower fat option. Kielbasa, also known as Polish sausage, is a mixture of ground pork and beef and highly seasoned with garlic. It can be eaten on a bun, much like a bratwurst, which is a German sausage made with pork and veal and seasoned with ginger, nutmeg, and coriander.

Like bacon, sausage is not exactly a heart-friendly meat. But when used sparingly or made with turkey or chicken, sausage can still be incorporated into a heart-healthy diet.


Sweet Potato, Kale, Sausage Bake (Printable PDF)

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

½ rope (8 oz.) fully cooked Andouille chicken sausage, sliced into ½-inch rounds

2 cups finely chopped kale, ribs removed

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup skim milk

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange sweet potatoes in single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway. Meanwhile, arrange sausage in single layer on a separate baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, turning halfway. Toss sweet potatoes, sausage and kale in a casserole dish. Bring broth and pepper to boil in a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk milk and flour. Slowly add milk mixture to broth; reduce heat to low. Stir in cheeses until melted and thickened. Pour over sweet potato mixture; bake for 10-15 minutes until kale is wilted.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 190 calories, 7 grams fat, 500 milligrams sodium, 16 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams protein

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