Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Turning into the Cooking Light Junkie

Grilled Sausage, Onion, and Pepper Sandwiches
Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2006 Copyright 2005

Cooking spray
4 cups thinly sliced Oso Sweet or other sweet onion
4 (4-ounce) turkey Italian sausage links, halved lengthwise I used the hot variety
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8-ounce) French bread baguette, halved lengthwise I served this over whole-wheat egg noodles

Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. (I just used a sauté pan.) Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and sausage; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with vinegar; cook 14 minutes or until sausage is done, turning occasionally. Add bell peppers; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with black pepper. Arrange sausage mixture evenly over bottom half of bread; top with top half. Cut into 5 sandwiches.

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich) Per serving: CALORIES 388(26% from fat); FAT 11.4g (sat 3.2g,mono 4.5g,poly 3.3g); PROTEIN 23.4g; CHOLESTEROL 76mg; CALCIUM 121mg; SODIUM 900mg; FIBER 6.1g; IRON 3.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 48.2g

What? That doesn't look like a sandwich to you? I can't get anything by you, can I? The recipe lead-in suggested that this was also good served over egg noodles and that appealed to me more than making this into a sandwich so that's what I did.

I didn't think that this recipe was going to work. Turkey sausage is very fragile. When I sliced them into two pieces, the casing came off so I almost ended up with crumbles of turkey sausage but by cooking the sausage alone for about a minute on each side first, they set up enough to hold their shape. Then I thought that the onions would not cook properly since they aren't sautéed in oil but cooking them in the balsamic worked out very well. Using the jarred peppers was a nice touch. They add color and they're a lot less expensive than fresh red bell peppers. Great for a quick meal.

I just wish I had a better selection of turkey sausage, locally. This sausage was labeled hot and had the pink color of a hot Italian sausage but it really wasn't much spicier than your typical sweet Italian sausage. It wasn't bad, just not as flavorful. A fair trade-off, I guess, since the turkey sausage is much lighter.

Since I've been trying to keep things light around here, I've been relying heavily on my two Cooking Light Annuals. I went through the 2003 issue and came up with over 50 recipes that I would consider making. That's the best thing to do with a book like that - it's arranged by how the recipes appeared in the magazine, not appetizers, entrées, desserts, etc. If you're just skimming through the book, looking for something to make for dinner, it can be overwhelming. So now I can just skim my list.

I'm definitely going to be getting my hands on the 2004 and 2005 annuals. I'm in love with Cooking Light and I'd go blind trying to work my way through all their recipes on the internet. I may spend too much money on cookbooks but I'm saving my eyesight.

Question of the Day: What is your method for finding recipes on the internet? (Do you print them off right away? Do you bookmark them?)


Heather said...

I use the internet mostly for reproducing recipes for my blog, copy and paste (which is probably why I have all the font size changes).
When I find a recipe I like I either print it off or copy it into my master WORD file called unmade. Then when I make it, it moves to the file called made. I know, very dorky, but it works for me.

Anonymous said...

I also mostly use the internet to find recipes. I then copy them into Mastercook, which is organized by cooking categories. I use mostly Cooking Light recipes because they are light, but still have a ton of flavor. Some of my favorites are Caramelized Onion Chicken, Spicy Chicken Cakes with Horseradish Aioli, and Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread.

Unknown said...

I usually bookmark them and then never use them!

Randi said...

I use this site

You can set up your own online cookbook. Its great.

Jennifer said...

I print them then file them away in the ugly purple binder. If I've not made the item in a few months, it gets torn out and tossed.

ThursdayNext said...

I am too lazy to set up the online cookbooks that most sites have! I print them out and get them into one of the many three-ringed binders I have of recipes. :)

Annie said...

I usually print them, but this is getting out of hand. It is very difficult to keep them organized. I like Randi's idea. I might check that out!

DancesInGarden said...

Most "spice" from hot pepper flakes for example, travels better in oil or fat. Since turkey sausages have less fat, I wonder if that is why they didn't taste as spicy even if they had red pepper flakes. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I like DancesInGarden's observation about the spice - I think that was it!

I've always printed recipes out from the internet and put them in my binder; it has tabs like "breakfast", "chicken", "beef", "soup", etc. The dessert section got so big that it is in its own binder now :)

If I like a recipe after making it 2-3 times, it's title gets highlighted. I make notes all over my cookbooks. Bleh ones get an "X" next to their title :)

A few years ago I also started using a cooking website called I LOVE it. You can hand enter any of your recipes, or if they're online, you just give it the website and it uploads the recipe for you. You can also pay them a fee to upload your personal recipes for you (they have a very high tech scanner that does a great job). I eventually got all of my recipes in there and I love using it to search my whole recipe collection for an odd ingredient (or just something left in the fridge). It especially does an awesome job with re-sizing recipes, making a grocery list, a menu plan, and easily changing any of these things without having to really re-do anything. I use it every day.

You might have already heard of this, but the website that you might like even more is called www.eatyour They have literally logged thousands of cookbooks on there, the names of every single recipe in each cookbook, and the ingredients of each of those cookbooks. And cooking magazines too! It's crazy handy. I only have six cookbooks so I just use their free "up to 5 books" thing, but I think for $25/year you can go unlimited. Anyway, it was created by a woman with a huge cookbook collection who wanted a way to easily find her recipes or use up an ingredient or know which 15 recipes she had for pecan pie, or what have you. Basically the only work you do is upfront by telling the website which cookbooks/magazines you own (it adds them to your virtual bookshelf). 90% of mine were inventoried (i.e., available and fully catalogued). You can also volunteer to inventory a book if it's not in there, and they are constantly adding more so you can also submit a request to have them add one of your cookbooks if it's not already in there. It's also got a fun blog and forum where people who also have the "cookbook addiction" talk about anything cooking or cookbook related / new cookbooks /etc. I love it. Bigoven is probably a better fit for me, because of the menu planning and grocery shopping features that have saved me so much time, but I think that you would love eatyourbooks! {It has a simplified grocery list feature; you can create a grocery list which is nice, but it doesn't let you say exactly how much of something you need. So it will say "green beans" but not "2 lbs green beans". I think that was because of copyright issues.}

Anyhoo, that's how I organize my recipes :)