Meal prepping with sausages are basically like serving meaty goodness to be devoured. These are processed meats, often pork, beef or veal, which has salt, spices and breadcrumbs, and a skin around it. And as such, sausages have been included in a class of foods that health experts generally warn that you avoid or reduce use of in your diet.
But human as we are, we need dietary fat to help digest food and such is provided from almost any source of protein which includes sausages. And as a member of the protein group, a well-made sausage provides you with iron and vitamin B-12.
- Good source of Protein
- Free from Carbohydrates
- Helps regulate blood pressure
- Helps regulate water balance in the body
- Can help protect from nerve damage
How to Select
- Check if package has “safe food handling” label as this means that the product has been safely processed.
- You may buy in links or in bulk.
- You may choose either fresh or cured with salt or smoke.
- Sausages can also be purchased fully-cooked or raw.
- Look for the “beef meat” on package as first ingredient if you want to purchase sausage that only contains beef.
- The same applies for chicken, pork or lamb sausages.
- Select a sausage with as high percentage of meat as possible.
- As much as possible, choose sausage that contains less than 450mg of sodium per 100g as this can be harmful to young children.
- Sausages containing additives and preservatives must be avoided.
- Empty fillers should also be avoided.
- Natural Casings
- Made from the submucosa (a layer of loose connective tissue beneath a mucous membrane) a largely collagen layer of the intestine.
- Gives the best flavor and appearance to the final sausage product
- Enhances and complements the natural juices and quality of the meat and spices
- Permit deep smoke penetration if you are smoking your sausage.
- Collagen Casings
- Made from the gelatinous substance found in the connective tissue, bones and cartilage of all mammals.
- Complete solution for all sausage applications, including freezing, deep fat frying, grilling and oven cooking.
- Supplied on a shirred stick and the amount needed for each application can be cut off.
- Casing are suitable for hand-linking provided the appropriate sausage mix and recipe are used.
- Fibrous Casings
- Made from wood cellulose (essentially paper) permeated with protein.
- Toughest casings produced and are inedible.
- Used where maximum uniformity of the finished product diameter, whether sausage or smoked meat, is desired.
- Synthetic Casings
- Made from alginates, and the casings themselves require no refrigeration.
- Used by mass producers and can be made in different colors.
- Most uniform and strong of all types of casings.
How to Store
- Open package only when you ready to use sausage.
- Immediately place sausage in the refrigerator after purchase.
- Best spot for storage would be in the coldest part of the refrigerator or in the refrigerator’s meat bin.
- Should you freeze sausage, make sure to do so before the number of days shown for refrigerator storage has elapsed.
- Overwrap original store packaging with airtight heavy-duty aluminium foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper or place the package inside a heavy-freezer bag in order to prevent freezer burn if you plan to freeze sausage for longer than 2 months.
Tips for Preparing Sausages
- Thoroughly wash hands for 20 seconds before, during and after handling raw meat
- To avoid cross-contamination, make sure to use two separate cutting boards. One for when slicing raw meats, poultry, and seafood and the other for ready-to-eat foods.
- Never defrost sausage on the counter. Instead, do so in the refrigerator, microwave or cold water by using defrost setting.
- Use a food thermometer to cook to proper temperature of 160°F.
- Never leave cooked sausage un-refrigerated for more than two hours.
- 1 lb of medium or large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 6 oz of pre-cooked smoked sausage, chopped (choose your favorite)
- 3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- Olive oil or coconut oil
- Optional garnish: chopped parsley
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with some olive oil or coconut oil
- Season shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning
- Cook shrimp about 3-4 minutes until opaque – remove and set aside
- Cook onions and bell peppers in skillet with 2 Tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil for about 2 minutes
- Add sausage and zucchini to the skillet, cook another 2 minutes
- Put cooked shrimp back into skillet along with the garlic, and cook everything for about 1 minute
- Pour chicken stock into pan and mix through to moisten everything
- Add salt, ground pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
- Remove from heat, garnish with parsley and serve hot
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 lb smoked sausage or kielbasa, sliced ¼-inch thick
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1½ cups cooked rice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and olive oil till butter sizzles.
- Add the slice smoked sausage and onions. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion is tender and sausage begins to brown.
- Add the red bell pepper and broccoli. Cover, reduce heat and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked rice, garlic powder and onion salt. Combine well, cover and heat until rice is hot.
- Add the shredded cheese and remove from heat. Stir in cheese until it’s melted.
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 ears corn on the cob
- 1/2 large yellow (1 medium) onion
- 4-5 small red potatoes
- 1 medium sized zucchini
- 1 package (13 ounces) Butterball Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Seasoned salt and pepper
- Optional: freshly chopped parsley
- Prepare the veggies and meat.
- Remove top and seeds from the pepper. Thinly slice.
- Remove husk from corn and cut into 1 inch disks. Coarsely chop the onion.
- Cut the potatoes into small bite-sized pieces — about 8-10 pieces per potato depending on size.
- Coin the zucchini.
- Coin the turkey sausage.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat.
- In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, paprika, about 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) seasoned salt and pepper. Stir.
- Add seasonings to the veggies + meat and toss well.
- Place 2 pieces of tin foil on top of each other.
- Put a generous amount of the mixture in the center and then fold up the first piece of foil and then the next piece of foil to form a secure encasing.
- Grill covered over medium heat for 16-24 minutes (depending on heat of grill) until veggies are crisp tender.
- Remove and top with freshly chopped parsley if desired.
Because of its tasty flavor, it’s clear that Sausages aren’t leaving any table soon. Moderation, as with all matters we handle, is key. We can benefit from the nutrients and good taste of sausage without taking on excessive risk. So, meal prep moderately and enjoy the health benefits of sausages.