Be Fit Basics: Herbed Pear Breakfast Sausage

A fresh idea for Sunday brunch from the Be Fit Program.

You can substitute other herbs, like parsley or basil, for the cilantro.  Fresh rosemary or oregano can also be used, but use much less because they are stronger-flavored. This recipe is also gluten free, but be sure to check your spices if you have Celiac disease.

1 pound- ground turkey meat (look for 93% lean or ground turkey breast)
¾ cup- diced pear
¾ cup -diced red pepper
½ cup -diced red onion
¼ cup- chopped cilantro leaves
1 tsp -dried sage (or ½ -1 tbsp chopped fresh sage)
½ tsp -salt
½ tsp- ground cumin
½ tsp -ground allspice
½ tsp- crushed red pepper
1½ tbsp- canola oil

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the canola oil. Shape into 8 patties (½ inch thick).

Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat and add half the canola oil and half the shaped patties. Cook patties about 4 minutes per side, until slightly golden brown with an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Drain the patties on paper towels.  Wipe out any bits in the pan and repeat with the remaining oil and patties.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size 2 small patties)

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 260 • Protein: 22 g • Sodium: 375 mg • Carbohydrate: 10 g • Fiber: 2 g • Fat: 15 g  Sat Fat: 3 g

Recipe Adapted from Cooking Light

Cooking with Flavor Recap

The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”  Anna Nakayama, a dietetic intern with the MGH Department of Nutrition and Food Services, joined us for a chat about healthy ways to add flavor to meals without extra fat and calories.

Click below for highlights:


Spice up the Flavor

UpdatedHerbsandSpicesCutting back on salt doesn’t mean your meal has to be bland.  Experimenting with herbs and spices is an easy way to add flavor to your dish without extra fat or calories.  We sometimes use herb and spice to mean the same thing, but spices can be made from roots, seeds, bark or fruit of a plant while herbs are usually just leaves.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Basil – A common ingredient in tomato-based dishes like pasta sauces, this herb with its large green leaves and slightly sweet flavor can also be used to season vegetables or as a base for homemade pesto.
  • Cayenne Pepper – Use this spice made from dried chili peppers to add heat to your dish.  Note:  this spice can be very hot, so use only a little bit at a time (especially if you don’t eat spicy food often).
  • Cloves – A pungent spice used in both sweet and savory dishes.  Ground cloves are often paired with cinnamon and nutmeg in baking, while whole cloves can add flavor to roasting meats like ham or lamb (insert right into the meat and remove before serving).
  • Black Pepper – Salt’s tabletop companion, this versatile spice adds a little warmth to just about any dish.  Use it to season meat or poultry before cooking, add it to soups and stews, or sprinkle a little on your meal at the table.
  • Rosemary – The leaves of this herb look a lot like pine needles when dried.  Its strong, earthy flavor pairs well with grilled meats and roasted vegetables.

Many supermarkets these days sell fresh herbs in the produce section, and you can even grow your own on a windowsill.  If you use dried herbs, store them in a tightly sealed container away from heat and light.

What’s your favorite cooking seasoning?

(Post content reviewed by MGH Department of Nutrition)