Healthy, Happy Comfort Food ~ Italian Style

The morning air feels crisp and fresh while the evenings are dark and brisk.  We are slowly but surely moving into the season of warm, comfort foods.  When we think of comfort food we often visualize heavy sauces, meats, breads and cheeses. Yet, delicious, warm meals can also be clean and healthy.  It all depends on what you add to the dish.  My favorite comfort foods generally fall into the category of Italian cuisine. I suppose these dishes remind me of my youth when the whole family would join for dinner on Sunday afternoon at my Nan’s house in Jersey City….what I would give to taste one of her signature Sicilian meatballs again!

Another staple found in many Italian cookbooks, as well as up and down Mulberry Street during the Feast of San Gennaro, is Sausage and Peppers.  This classic, hearty dish is loaded with flavor but also full of calories and fat.  So I created this healthy version for you by swapping out the traditional pork sausage with lean chicken sausage and cooking the meat on the grill rather than pan frying it.  You can enjoy this dish during the Fall & Winter season of comfort food without having to compromise your fitness efforts.
Buon Appetito!


1 Package Premio Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage
2 Red Bell Peppers – Stems and Seeds Removed, Sliced Thin
2 Green Bell Peppers – Stems and Seeds Removed, Sliced Thin
1 Yellow Onion, Sliced Thin
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Fennel (optional)

Heat a grill pan to medium-high temperature. Add 3 tablespoons water and place chicken sausage links in the pan. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid and continue cooking for 10 minutes, turning the links often until each side is golden brown.

Meanwhile, spray a separate skillet with light cooking oil and heat to medium-high temperature. Add minced garlic, sliced onions and peppers. Saute and stir often until peppers and onion are tender (approximately 15-20 minutes), adding water as needed.

Once sausage is fully cooked, remove from heat, slice into bite-sized rounds and add to skillet. Sprinkle dish with dried herbs, red pepper flakes and ground fennel. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring to combine flavors. Spoon onto dinner plates and mangia!


About NJ Fitness Trainer

Fitness, Nutrition & Wellness Blogger
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