I love breakfast. It’s always been my favorite meal. In my younger years I could easily scarf down three pieces of french toast with maple syrup (and peanut butter) or a crispy, buttery waffle in no time flat. Over the last three years however, I’ve devoted many hours of study to traditional nutrition principles and I can no longer deny the importance of good, solid protein to start my day off on the right foot. Protein is SO important! It’s essential for energy, adrenal gland function (regulating some 60-odd of the body’s hormones), regulation of blood sugar, and brain health (read: your moods). Animal proteins supply the greatest nutrients and amino acids, and I eat meat with every meal–on average, about 20g (or 6oz.) three times per day.
So what kind of protein does a gal eat for breakfast besides eggs, then? I used to eat leftover dinner for breakfast every morning…and then I got married. Now my husband eats all the leftovers and I have no breakfast. For those weekend days on the go I used to sometimes pick up Applegate Farm’s Chicken and Apple Sausage, but at $6 per box (and only two servings in said box), it’s too pricey to eat on a daily basis. So I decided it was time to make my own sausage…and I was quite pleased with how it turned out. Sweet and flavorful, with just a hint of exotic spice. Not to mention it made a huge batch that will last me at least seven days! Just pop a few pre-cooked patties in the toaster oven each morning and I’m off to work in a jiffy. Here’s to sleeping in an extra 30 minutes because my breakfast is already done!
Chicken and Apple Breakfast Sausage Patties”
- 1/2 of a medium onion, grated
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp applesauce, (apples only, no sweeteners or additives–I use Whole Foods’ 365 brand)
- 1/4 cup honey (raw, local and unfiltered if possible)
- 2 1/2 pounds ground chicken (I use ground chicken thighs for the extra moisture, excellent flavor, and healthy fats, but ground breasts would work as well)
- 1 tsp garlic powder (or 2 garlic cloves, finely minced)
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil (for sauteeing sausage patties)
Mix together all ingredients except olive oil in a large bowl. Your hands are your best tool–so be ready to get messy! Once the sausage mixture is thoroughly combined, you’ll want to get your heat going.
I’ve cooked these on both a countertop grill (a George Foreman grill, which I don’t love) and a stove top grill pan (which I do love). Either way, you’ll want to oil your grill or pan and start the heat. If cooking on a George, just plug it in. If on the stove top, start with medium heat; you can later turn the heat up to medium-high if you feel like the patties are cooking too slowly and getting tough on the outside.
Next, get a large plate or platter ready. Form patties from the sausage mixture that are about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, and place on plate/platter until all patties are formed and ready to cook. Once patties are formed, place several on your George or stove top grill pan and cook for about 8 minutes, flipping 1/2 way through if cooking on the stove top. Ground chicken should be cooked to at least 165 degrees, so make sure to check for doneness before removing each batch and starting the next.
I get about 36 two-inch patties from this recipe. This easily gives me breakfast for a week! You could also make these larger to fit on sourdough toast, an english muffin, or a gluten-free Butternut Squash Biscuit (recipe coming soon!)–just top with a scrambled, fried or poached egg, and you have a delicious, easy-to-take-on-the-go breakfast sandwich, packed with protein and nutrients.