Friday, June 15, 2012

Day Nine: Belly full of goodness

You might recall that the hubs and I were supposed to be going to the Community Market in hopes of scoring some local produce. Well, we did indeed go, but nothing looked too appealing to us and everything seemed to be exceptionally overpriced (I know they are local farmers and they need to make a living somehow, but it seemed to me that their prices were much higher than they normally are). So, needless to say, we came home empty handed. Kind of.

On our way home we decided to stop at the Bedford Avenue Meat Shop. (Typically, I would give you the link to their website, but it appears to be down at this time. My old buddy Google might be able to fill you in on other info if you want it, though.) This is a local butcher shop that sells only pastured meat products and organic sides, etc. They also sell cheeses, wines and various oils, as well as prepared foods (ribs, pasta salads, etc.). I have been intending to get to this store for probably two years now, but for one reason or another, I've never made it... until now! We took our sweet ol' time looking at EVERYTHING and decided on some sausages. We bought 2 full-sized links of a mild Italian pork sausage and 2 links of a garlic and herb beef sausage. The people who own the shop are really very nice and helpful. What I was especially grateful for was the fact that their meat cases clearly displayed all ingredients in their products, so I was able to order my sausages with confidence knowing that I was staying within the plan of my diet. We really liked this store and WILL return in the near future!

So, I used my fresh, local butcher shop sausages to make sausage "stew," which really is more of a goulash, if you ask me. I got the recipe from a Weight Watchers cookbook that was collecting dust on my shelf. The recipe called for the precooked sausages that come packaged in the refrigerator section of the grocery store (the smoked sausage type), but those generally are loaded with no-no substances and I like fresh sausage and I had it on hand, so I used it. The original recipe also called for a can of beans, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce all of which I omitted. So, here is the recipe I ended up with:

Sausage, Mushroom, and Tomato Stew (Original name, but I think I shall dub my version Sausage and Vegetable Goulash)

6 oz fresh sausage links, sliced
1/4 C onion, diced
1 (8 oz) pkg white mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 T organic tomato paste
1 t garlic and herb seasoning (I just threw some stuff together)
2 C lightly packed baby spinach

Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, and zucchini; cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients except the spinach and allow to cook 5 minutes longer or until liquid begins to bubble. Add the spinach, stirring gently until it wilts, about 1 minute longer.

It doesn't look super appealing, but it sure was tasty! I served it alongside cauliflower "rice" which I overcooked. Oops! It was my first experience with the stuff, so I wasn't sure what to expect and I made the mistake of walking away from it for "just a minute." Oh, well! Now I know for next time that it can't be trusted by itself.

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