Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cauliflower & Chicken Sausage Casserole

This is an easy & healthy recipe. I would highly recommend it if you are in the mood for something different but don't want to work too hard. I received this recipe from my mother via another blog. It was elected BEST HEALTHY CASSEROLE by The Kitchn. It's a great blog because they have everything from home decor, do-it-yourself projects, and product reviews. The pictures are beautiful and the ideas are creative. But I will say I like my cake pops better than theirs ;-) (is that wrong to say?). 

Back to what's important. The secret to the healthy in this casserole is to use chicken sausage instead of regular sausage. I however, chose spicy italian sausage and skipped out on the olive oil to save calories/fat that way. I found a new love for italian sausage after making my two-crust pizza casserole and it was on sale so I went with it. Because of this choice the casserole is still pretty high in fat. So if you are concerned I would stick with the chicken sausage or find an alternative meat/protein for this dish.

I'm sure any type of sausage would make this dish delicious. It's a great way to sneak in vegetables; tomatoes, onions, & lots of cauliflower. You only use a little bit of parmesan cheese so that helps keep the calories down as well. And even though it's healthy...Schmuffin still wanted a bite. :-) I've included nutritional information on the bottom of this post.

1 medium head of cauliflower
1 lb of chicken sausage or italian sausage, cut and removed from casings (optional)
3/4 cup of diced onion
6 cloves of garlic, diced
1 tsp of thyme
1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bring 3 quarts of water and salt to a boil.
Meanwhile, chop up cauliflower into smaller bite-size florets, removing leaves & stems. I'm no expert at cutting up cauliflower (just kind of making it up as I go) but I would recommend using a video from google for something like this or any other specific cooking tips. But that's only if you don't know what you are doing. (which is usually how I operate)
When water starts boiling add cauliflower and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour into colander in sink.
Rinse immediately with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan, cook sausage for about 8 minutes until crispy and brown over medium heat.
You can choose to drain the grease. The original recipe says to leave 1 or 2 tbsp. I didn't have much so I didn't drain it.
Add onions, garlic, and thyme and stir in.
Cook for another 5 minutes.
Then add whole tomatoes from the can with liquid. 
Smash and break up the whole tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower heat.
Let cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Add meat/sauce to original pot with the cauliflower.
Pour into greased 13 x 9 casserole dish.
Sprinkle bread crumbs & parmesan over dish.
Bake in oven for 25 minutes.

Servings: 6      Calories: 370      Fat: 23.7      Points: 8.5      Points Plus: 10

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to know that you visited my blog. Please leave me a message letting me know you were here! Did you try out a recipe? Let me know! I would love to hear from you :-)

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