Thursday, March 10, 2016

Maple & Sage Sausage Skillet {AIP, Paleo}

Breakfast is a tricky thing. I've actually never been a big fan of 'breakfast' foods. Well, I might have been as a very young child, but I don't remember it. For as long as I can remember, these were my thoughts on 'breakfast foods'... pancakes were never my thing, most eggs have always made me gag and cold cereal was always too cold. My all time favorite breakfast food growing up was whatever happened to be leftover from the night before. Needless to say... when it comes to breakfast, AIP was a simple transition for me.



Back in my boarding school days knowing I needed to eat breakfast, but dreading it as I walked to the dining hall each morning. If it was pancake day you could smell the sticky sweetness of the fake maple syrup and it was enough to make me want to get back in bed. My favorite breakfast was biscuit & gravy day, but even that was a bit of a chance....the gravy might just bee too salty or not salty enough....or rather paste like if it had been sitting there for too long.

It was funny, because most people complained about lunch and dinner, but I never had a problem with those meals. It was just breakfast that was my nemesis. Give me 'Shepherd's Pie' or 'Solomon's surprise' (2 of the least favorite dinners) any day...just don't make me eat the pancakes.

Most days on AIP I happily eat my leftover 'Greek Lamb Skillet' or some 'Greek Pesto Salmon' with some roasted veggies OR more often than not I indulge in a big steaming bowl of 'Breakfast Stoup.'

BUT, there are some days when you want meat and veggies for breakfast, but you also want it to have a more traditional (well at least for some cultures) breakfast flavor. And that's just where this dish comes in. Maple, sage and blueberries might seem like a strange addition to sauteed meat and veggies, but trust me on this one. It reminds me of when your pancake syrup ends up on your hash browns and sausage and you get that savory and sweet flavor combination that just feels like breakfast.



This recipe didn't begin with a quest for a breakfast meal. As many of my recipes do, this began by throwing a package of ground beef into a skillet and then playing around with other ingredients to end up with a meal worth savoring and more importantly worth sharing with you. :)

I added onion and garlic and then reached for the herbs. Honestly, I thought I was grabbing thyme, but it turned out to be sage and that was happy accident. Then, I knew I had a zucchini to use as well as some leftover sweet potatoes I had spiralized. Once I had added those things to the pan, I opened the fridge and saw the maple syrup and blueberries and thought... this could either be great or disgusting. Let's see! You know I'm always up for an adventure.

Thankfully the gamble paid off and this ended up being one of my all time favorite BREAKFAST recipes. Hope you enjoy!

 


Maple and Sage Sausage Skillet
Serves 4-5
Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients:
1/2 T olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 onion - finely diced
1 t garlic powder
1 1/2 T dried sage 
1 t sea salt
1 large Zucchini -chopped into bite size pieces
1 large Sweet potato - par cooked- shredded or spiralized
5 handfuls baby spinach
1/2 cup water
1 container blueberries- about 1 cup
1 1/2 T maple syrup 

Method:
- preheat oven to 400F/200C and prep your sweet potato OPTIONS: (1) shred/ grate using a food processor or (2) spiralize and then roughly cut the 'noodles' into small pieces... then, lay on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 T olive oil and bake for 15 minutes until
- once the sweet potato is in the oven... heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
- when oil is hot, add ground beef and cook - breaking it up with a spoon- until it begins to brown
- while beef is browning, add onion, garlic powder, sage and sea salt
- while beef is browning, chop your zucchini
- once beef is cooked through, add zucchini and sautee for 1-2 minutes then add 1/4 cup water and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes
- add par cooked sweet potato and baby spinach. if water has cooked off, add another 1/4 cup and simmer 2-3 minutes
- once sweet potatoes and zucchini are both cooked through, add blueberries
- finish the dish by drizzling maple syrup over it and giving it a good stir through to combine all the flavors
- BREAKFAST IS SERVED!

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Tools you might need for this recipe:
(1) Spiralizer - this is my favorite one, because there are 3 options for 'noodle' widths and the blades fit inside the body of the machine. PLUS, it's really easy to clean up and it has suction cups that help it stick to the counter
(2) Skillet - this is the skillet I use for literally everything. I have this 14 inch one and a smaller 8 inch one and I LOVE them. I can't believe I didn't switch to stainless sooner. 



**This recipe was shared on this weeks Phoenix Helix AIP Roundtable