Every week, we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Healthified Italian Sausage Egg Bake, from Eat Better America. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
I made Fred choose this week’s recipe (it was my turn), because he’s such a pain in the ass about what he will and won’t eat during the week and I was damned if I was going to make something he’d turn his nose up at, because that drives me nuts. I think every meal I make should be greeted with gratitude and raving about what an amazing, wonderful cook I am, even if he has to secretly run into the bathroom and puke after he’s eaten it. If left to my own devices, I would eat cereal and salads at every meal and never cook again.
(Okay, that’s a lie. You can only eat so many bowls of Cheerios before you die from scurvy.)
Anyway, Fred chose this, I looked it over, it looked easy enough, and I sent it off to Nance for her okay. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized that you have to put the casserole together and let it sit in the fridge 8 hours to overnight but NO LONGER than 24 hours. What a pain in the ass. So at 8:00 at night, I was putting this thing together. Helpful tip: don’t do this when you’re tired. You will make a stupid mistake and want to go on a killing spree.
The recipe calls for 12 ounces of lean Italian turkey sausage with the casings removed. Since we have ten thousand tons of sausage in the freezer, I opted to use a pound of ground sausage. Which, right there, takes away that whole “healthy” idea, doesn’t it? It also calls for red bell pepper, and I’m sorry – I don’t do bell peppers. So I used extra chopped onion instead. Then there’s garlic, frozen chopped spinach, frozen shredded hash browns, Italian cheese blend, parmesan, eggs, skim milk, basil, salt and pepper.
(That picture kind of sucks because I didn’t include the milk, and you can’t really see the Parmesan, which is hiding behind the hash browns.)
The first part of the recipe is simple (we like simple!) – brown the sausage, add the onion (and bell pepper if you’re using it), cook ’til the veggies are crisp-tender, and then add the spinach.
So once all that’s done, you’re meant to mix the sausage mixture, hash browns, and cheeses. But I hate mixing stuff in the baking dish – I always make a mess – so I decided to mix it all together in a bowl, then put it in the baking dish. Easy, right?
Not if you’re an idiot like me. See, the stupid recipe reads as follows: 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (from 30-ounce bag), thawed.
My stupid, stupid, STUPID brain translated that as “use this entire bag of hash browns!” It was after I’d mixed the sausage mixture with the cheeses and added the hash browns that I started to wonder how the hell this was going to fit in a 9×13 baking dish. So I looked at the MOTHERFUCKING bag of hash browns, and I found that one 30 ounce bag of hash browns does NOT contain 4 cups of hash browns. It holds over TEN FRIGGIN’ CUPS of hash browns. I’d mixed everything together so well by that point that I couldn’t pick out the hash browns.
I might have lost my shit at this point, ranted and raved and swore to Fred, threatened to throw the whole mess to the pigs, and ranted and raved and swore some more.
When I had calmed down a little, Fred said that he thought if we split the mixture between two dishes and froze one of them for later use, then just added the eggs and milk to one dish, it would turn out fine. So I did that, split the mixture between two dishes, beat the eggs together with the milk and basil, and poured it over the hash brown mixture, and put it in the fridge to sit overnight.
The next afternoon, I took the covered dish out of the fridge and stuck it in the preheated oven. The instructions say to bake for an hour, covered, then uncover and bake for 15 – 20 minutes longer or until the center is set. Which I intended to do, but when I removed the cover after an hour, I saw that the center was already set, so I forwent the extra time in the oven.
I know you’re wondering how it was. Fred loved it, he raved about how good it was, he wants to run away with and marry it. I, only the other hand, will GRUDGINGLY admit that it wasn’t BAD, but because of the grudge I’m holding, I would also like it to go fuck itself.
My hatred for the writer of the recipe didn’t stop me from eating it for two meals (and there was enough there for four meals, but I just can’t eat the same thing for four dinners in a row), so I guess it was OKAY, and I know I’ll be using the other pan that’s sitting in the freezer, but I’ll be damned if I like it.
Robyn picked the recipe this week (she always gives me extra choices) so I totally went for this recipe (you can thank me for saving you from a healthified lasagna later) when I saw that it took sausage.
Look what just happened to be sitting in my freezer at just the right time. Truth is, my mother picked this up at the grocery store and apparently she forgot that nobody (including her) is a big fan of sweet italian sausage. I had to pick that recipe or this shit was going to be in our freezer until 2018. And another note: There was no way in hell that I would be able to pass off turkey sausage to these knuckleheads so you might as well shake those healthy thoughts out of your head right now, missy.
I had a new skillet that I was dying to try out (Sam’s Club, duh. I don’t do that fancy shit cookery when I have people in this house that believe a fried egg should be dropped into a skillet that has been filled with butter and set on HIGH for 15 goddamn minutes beforehand, hmph).
I was starting to get all bitchy about recipes being so bossy (12 inch skillet) so I grabbed a ruler and took a picture to make a point. Turns out that the point was that I shouldn’t have gotten so bitchy about bossy recipes because I really did need a 12 inch skillet. So yeah. Do what the recipe says this time.
This is my mother trying to make finger-flavored hash browns. This also probably explains a lot about why she was not the one that taught me how to cook. There is a video of her bitching during this
and as soon as I get it uploaded to YouTube I’ll embed it here. Payback’s a bitch, Shirley!
Ran out of the Italian-Blend cheese so mixed in a little sharp cheddar. Please note how I tried to hide it. From MYSELF. GAWD.
Pretty! Spinach, peppers, onions, sausage, blahblahblah.
Shirley pours out the hash browns. I take pictures because she says she’s unable to take pictures.
Unable to take pictures until she wants to, that is. This is me, totally icked out (please note bent legs) because I shoved my hands in that mess in order to mix it all up. My BARE HANDS. Fucking gross. Shirley was just snapping away then! Asshole.
We pour the egg mixture over it and (insert big fat yawn here) throw it in the fridge over night.
It was excellent. Everybody liked it (except Trey, who said it tasted too much like sausage, heh). This would be absolutely perfect for someone who needs to feed a lot of people (Christmas morning, etc.).
- 12 oz. lean Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
- 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 c.)
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 9 oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
- 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (from 30 oz bag), thawed
- (USE 4 C. OF THE HASH BROWNS, NOT THE WHOLE BAG. DON'T BE STUPID LIKE ROBYN)
- 2 c. reduced-fat Italian cheese blend (8 oz)
- 2 T grated Parmesan cheese
- 12 eggs
- ¾ c. fat-free (skim) milk
- 1 tsp dried basil leaves
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Spray 13x9 (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray
- In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium heat 5 - 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up sausage with spoon (I use a spatula), until no longer pink; drain if necessary. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 - 2 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in spinach.
- In baking dish, mix cooked sausage mixture, potatoes, and cheeses. In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, basil, salt and pepper until blended. Pour over mixture in baking dish. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight but NO LONGER THAN 24 HOURS OR THE GODS OF COOKING WILL SMITE YOU.
- Heat oven to 350º. Bake covered 1 hour. Uncover, bake 15 - 20 minutes longer or until center is set. Let stand 5 - 10 minutes before serving.