Supreme-ly Good Elk Sausage Pizza

 

Happy Friday to all! I don’t think I could have made it another day without the weekend arriving…it has been a long and fast-paced week.  For the past seven days my life has been consumed by the excitement and work that goes along with moving. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to move into a larger house, which is conveniently located next door to where we were living. Cabinet space, a mudroom, and wood stove are among the highlights, not to mention more than twice the amount of house for us and a bigger fenced-in yard for Jade. Each night after work I have been deep cleaning the old house, and last night I finally finished! So now we are officially moved and can work on organizing and putting things away this weekend. Meals have been on the fly this week, squeezed in between working til 5 and cleaning until it’s dark. I realized tonight that four out of the past five days we have eaten elk, and tonight a Friday night pizza night sounded perfect to me, although I didn’t know if I was up to the effort of making a homemade one. So I compromised–although I have a good pizza crust recipe, I decided to lessen the work and prep time involved by buying a Jiffy pizza crust (for .86 cents!). It’s the first time I have ever bought a crust, and I must say it was worth it. I already had veggies and elk sausage on hand, so the assembly was a piece of cake.

Supreme-ly Good Elk Sausage Pizza

Serves 3

  • 1 Jiffy Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 3/4 cup cooked elk breakfast sausage, crumbled
  • 1/2 c marinated artichoke hearts, chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 c Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup black olives
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion
  • 2 Tbsp. Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Cook bacon. I cooked mine in the oven on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil to prevent bacon grease splatter from frying.

DSC012643. While bacon is cooking, make pizza crust according to directions: add 1/2 cup warm water to the crust mix in a bowl and stir to combine.

4.  Allow to sit in warm place for 5 minutes. I set mine on the stove top while the bacon was cooking inside.

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5. Flour a cutting board or hard surface and knead dough until smooth and elastic.

6. Meanwhile, cook the elk sausage in a frying pan on medium heat. Set aside.

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7. When bacon is done, wash off the cookie sheet, pat dry, and spray with cooking spray. Wipe off excess with a paper towel.

8. Chop vegetables.

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9. Next, form crust into a round pizza shape on the cookie sheet.

10. Spread a thin layer of pesto on the crust along with the tomatoes and a little of the juice from the can.

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11. Pre-bake the pizza for 3-4 minutes BEFORE adding remaining ingredients.

12. Add remaining veggie and meat toppings.

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Then sprinkle evenly with the  mozzarella cheese.

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13. Cook for 15 minutes on 425, or until crust is golden brown.

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Cut yourself a slice or two and enjoy.
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Spinach Artichoke and Venison Sausage Alfredo

Wishing You a Happy Easter

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This wreath is the perfect blank canvas, an all-seasons wreath. It is perched outside my front door, and I change the decorations on it with the seasons and holidays. Both the wreath and this vintage egg-flower Easter basket (with 1968 handwritten in marker on the bottom!)  came from the Opportunity Shop, the local thrift store that uses the money it makes to provide grants to local non-profits. Pretty neat, truly passing the buck and creating opportunities for many people in many different ways.

On to the meal. With Spring Break upon us, it has been nice having some time in the evening to cook when I get home and not relying on the crockpot or piecing together meals with random leftover–not that random leftovers are bad, but regularly grazing on leftovers is not really a good habit to get into. With a large bag of fresh spinach and venison breakfast sausage that needed to be cooked or else, I came up with Spinach Artichoke and Venison Sausage Alfredo. The venison sausage is breakfast sausage, made from ground deer, ground pork butts, and this Breakfast Sausage Seasoning Kit. For more information on making your own breakfast sausage, check out this post.

Serves 2

  • 4 oz. dry spaghetti
  • 1 cup cooked, crumbled vension breakfast sausage
  • 2 Tbsp. diced green onion
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup half and half (I use fat free)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz. quartered marinated artichoke hearts
  • 2 tsp. margarine or butter
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups baby spinach, packed
  • salt and pepper

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1. Melt butter and olive oil in frying pan. Add in green onion, spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute on medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 2 minutes.

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???????????????????????????????The green onions are from the garden last summer. After harvesting them, I cleaned and roughly diced them, and then put them in the freezer in an empty pop bottle. Throughout the year when I need to use them, I just shake them out frozen. Thank you, Pinterest!

2. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain water and rinse. Then add 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese to the pasta, saving the remaining 1/4 cup for later. ???????????????????????????????

3. Add chicken broth and half and half to the frying pan with the vegetables and cook on medium-low for another 2-3 minutes to make a sauce.

4. To the skillet, add crumbled breakfast sausage. I had cooked my sausage the day before because I was worried that it was going bad. If you need to, cook and crumble the sausage in a small frying pan at this point.

5. Now add the pasta into the skillet with the vegetables. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan over top and stir gently to combine???????????????????????????????

Scoop up a bowl and enjoy!  ???????????????????????????????

I like to know how what I am eating stacks up, so here are theNutrition Stats according to Livestrong. This recipe makes 3.5 cups.

Per 7 oz. (almost 1 cup) serving: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/spinach-artichoke-elk-sausage-alfredo/

spinartdata

Elk Sausage & Spinach Quiche with Savory Crust

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What can I say, it’s hard to stop eating this quiche! The crust is buttery, savory and melts into the mildly spicy breakfast sausage, spinach, onion, and cheedar cheese. Simple, filling, and good for any meal of the day.

Elk Sausage & Spinach Quiche with Savory Crust 

Servings: 4 large slices

  • Savory Pie Crust: recipe follows

-1.5  c Butter or Crisco shortening

-3 c. AP Flour

-1 egg

-1 T. White  Vinegar

-1 tsp. salt

-5 T.cold water

Using a pastry knife, work flour and butter/crisco together until mixture forms into coarse crumbs, then add egg, vinegar, salt, water and combine. I prefer using Crisco, but real unsalted butter works fine too. Form crust into ball and place in freezer for 10 minutes in a ziplock bag if you are using it immediately, this makes the dough much easier to work with. This recipe yields a top and bottom crust; I use one right away and freeze the other for later use for quiche or fruit pies.

  • 1/2 lb elk or venison breakfast sausage
  • 1/3 c frozen spinach, or more if it’s fresh
  • 1/4 c diced yellow onion
  • 1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c Half and Half ( I use fat-free)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 T olive oil

1. Make pie crust as directed above. Divide dough in half, use one half now & freeze one half in a ziplock bag for later use.

2. Layer pie crust in a pie tin WITHOUT greasing the pan first.

3. Pour olive oil into medium frying pan. Add in diced onion and spinach. I threw my spinach in frozen because I didn’t have much left. Sautee on medium heat for 2 minutes

4. Add in breakfast sausage and cook until it crumbles and is no longer pink.

5. In a small bowl, beat three eggs with 1/2 c. half and half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Pour meat mixture into pie crust and spread evenly on bottom.

7. Pour egg mixture over top.

8. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for approximately 35 minutes. If eggs are still runny, uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes until eggs poof up and are firm when you cut into the quiche.

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Nutrition Information: 1/4 slice = Note: For dinner if I am really hungry I will eat an entire 1/4 of the quiche, but it is a lot. For breakfast or lunch, I often cut smaller slices, like 1/6 or 1/8 size. Information below is for 1/4 slice. The nice thing though, is that I never feel overly stuffed like after eating a large portion of some foods. This is a wholesome recipe with a good dose of protein that will keep you full and energized.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/4 slice

Amount per Serving

Calories 674

Calories from Fat 395.5

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 43.94g

67%

Saturated Fat 26.06g

130%

Cholesterol 302.86mg

100%

Sodium 895.96mg

37%

Total Carbohydrate 37.16g

12%

Dietary Fiber 1.86g

7%

Sugars 3.32g

Protein 28.56g

57%

Est. Percent of Calories from:

Fat

59%

Carbs

22%

Protein

16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/elk-sausage-spinach-quiche/#ixzz2HLWwgijd

1-egg Sausage and Spinach Scramble

Yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful Sunday afternoon with my first x-country ski of the season, a 5-mile trip to my old stomping grounds on the mountain. While I had debated going at all, due to the 11 degree weather, there was zero wind and sunny skies so I layered up, put on my balaclava and went for it. The hour and forty-five minute ski in the crisp air left me quite hungry for dinner last night, and also for breakfast this morning. For breakfast, I decided to make a quick, light scramble using our elk breakfast summer sausage.

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1-egg Sausage and Spinach Scramble

  • 1 egg (local if possible!)
  • 1 T. medium salsa
  • 1 T. +/- raw breakfast sausage
  • 1 T. shredded cheddar
  • 2 T. spinach (I used frozen, fresh would be fine, too)
  • sprinkle of black pepper
  1. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook breakfast sausage until no longer pink.
  2. Re-spray the pan with cooking spray, crack egg into pan and scramble with fork.
  3. Add in spinach (still frozen is fine) and salsa.
  4. Cook on medium heat until eggs set up and top with a large pinch of shredded cheddar.
  5. Sprinkle with black pepper. Breakfast is served!