August 27, 2012

Chicken Sausages with Eggplant Caponata (AND a Pizza Idea)

(Here is the finished product. I put our chicken sausages on whole wheat buns with a serving of the caponata. I didn't serve a side dish, as my sausage links were pretty big and I figured the caponata was a full serving of veggies.)

(My caponata after I chopped it all up. Mmmmmm....grilled veggie goodness!)

(The cooked chicken sausages hot off the grill and resting for a few minutes. This was a delicious summer all-in-one, meal-on-a-bun!)

So far, my foray into clean eating has been pretty successful. We've had really tasty, yet healthy meals and I've lost 4 pounds! Pretty fantastic, eh? I love it when weight comes off, and I don't feel like I've really made any sacrifices food-wise. I'm eating 3 solid meals and 2 snacks a day, so I'm never hungry and I've found some great recipes that are so satisfying in the flavor department. To be fair, it does take a bit more planning to eat this way; but I'm motivated to keep going! I already notice a positive difference in how I feel, too. All around, I'm loving the changes.

I adapted this recipe from Clean Eating magazine and it was fantastic. I love grilled food, so this was right up my alley. The husband worked late on Friday night, so it was the kiddos and me for dinner (don't worry...I saved him a plate). My kids were pretty indifferent about this one, but they ate it well enough. However, my husband and I both gave it a thumbs up.

Chicken Sausages with Eggplant Caponata
Adapted From: Clean Eating magazine; By: Nancy S. Hughes, June 1, 2012

Olive oil cooking spray
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken sausages (I used an Italian-flavored sausage with Parm and basil)
4 whole-wheat hot dog buns
1/2 jar of sun dried tomatoes, chopped and drained of oil
2 fresh Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 (8 oz) container pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus additional for garnish (I used dried basil)
2 cloves garlic, whole and peeled
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar (I forgot the vinegar; but I think balsamic would work, too)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat an indoor grill pan to medium-high and lightly coat grill with cooking spray.

Lightly spray both sides of eggplant,fresh tomatoes,and onion with oil, then place on prepared grill. Also, place whole, peeled garlic cloves on the grill.

Cook vegetables until brown and tender, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer vegetables to a cutting board. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place sausages on the grill pan. Cook according to package directions, or until sausage is cooked thoroughly. Gently open buns, but do not split in half. Grill buns briefly on each side while sausages cook for final 2 minutes.

Roughly chop the grilled eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, and onion and place in a medium bowl with olives, basil, sun dried tomatoes and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, place 1 sausage in each bun and spoon equal amounts of vegetable mixture over top of each. Sprinkle with additional basil, if desired.

I had a lot of leftover caponata, so I decided to mix it with a half of a container of store bought pesto and turn it into a pizza topping. I bought some whole wheat pizza dough, layered a thin amount of store bought marinara over the crust, topped that with the caponata/pesto mixture, and then added my shredded mozzarella cheese. My son loves pepperoni, so we added those on top of the cheese and baked it (450 degrees for 15 minutes). It was delicious!!!! I love it when my recipes can multi-task. Definitely a good use for leftover pesto and caponata!

No comments: