Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guilt Free Italian Sausage Bake

This stuff is delicious.  I strayed away from a recipe in the Biggest Loser "Quick & Easy Cookbook"

They have a recipe for "Fried" Mushroom Parmesan Bake that really looked good.  It is intended as a side dish, but of course they also suggest it as a vegetarian entree'.  Call me crazy or say "This is why you're fat", but I am still not into the idea of  going 'meatless'.  To be up front...I feel like I have an expanded world view and no offense to anyone who is, but I do not know the rules, nor have I taken the time to understand the nuances of vegetarianism or veganism.  I know, I's a new era. 

A different way of thinking. 

Sorry, but think of me as your Grandma that still won't use a computer and has NEVER been on the internet.

Regardless...I wanted to add meat.  I was originally thinking ground turkey, which would still probably be very good, but while I was stressing out over Wal-Mart not having almond mozzarella or low sugar marinara...not even Ground Turkey (the one I normally shop at does, but not the one I was at today) I ran across Johnsonville Pork and Turkey Mild Italian Sausage.  Only 200 calories and a purported 50% of the fat of regular Italian Sausage.  Mmmm... That sounds nice.

I also pick up an eggplant and zucchini to add extra veggies.  What I ended up with was a 9x13 pan of Italian deliciousness that was 842 calories for the entire pan.  Unbelievable!!!

Here it is...

Depending on the products you use, your calorie count may vary. This serving was half the pan at 421 calories.  Without the meat...221.

1lb white mushrooms
1c diced eggplant
1c zucchini (sliced and quartered)
1c Marinara (I used All-Natural Victoria "Old World Style")
2 links Pork and Turkey or Turkey Italian sausage
1/3 c mozzarella cheese
1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
garlic powder
Italian Seasoning

Preheat oven to 425.  Prepare 9x13 baking dish by spraying lightly with olive oil spray.   Pan Fry Links over medium heat until there is just a pink center.  Remove from pan and slice into "coins".  Remove stems from mushroom caps and clean caps.  Put caps, eggplant, zucchini in large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste.  Add marinara sauce and sausage.  Mix thoroughly.  Place in baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with cheese and bread crumbs return to oven for 4-6 minutes. 

The yield depends on you.  I was starving.  This gave me the most bang for the buck.  Hubby and I split the pan.  421 calories each.  Split it 4 ways 211 calories per serving.  Basic math.  Leave out the sausage..the entire dish is 448 calories and would have been filling w/o the sausage.  If I could do anything different next time...I would have toasted the bread crumbs in a dry pan before adding to the dish.  They didn't quite crisp up the way I had hoped and they ended up a tad mushy.

I know I don't normally do recipes, but today was a good day.  The only thing I have to share is that the scale is giving me love and as of now I am at 881 calories for the day and 104 oz of water.

I hope everyone else is doing just as well!


  1. It looks delicious.
    I too support all vegetarians in their life choice but wouldn't want to eat a meatless life. I could easily become a pescatarian ( is that what they call fish only eaters?)
    I don't normally do recipes either but this really does look yummy. Glad you had such a positive day!

  2. Mmmm! That sounds delish! I'm a vegetarian and I'd either do this with the veggie sausage crumbles or just with the veggies and I bet it'd be to-die-for! I'm always on the lookout for healthy, FILLING dishes. Thank you SO much for posting this!

  3. Hey it looks good, I might try it sometime. Glad to hear the scale is giving you love!!